Both the police department and Oakwood school officials told this news organization that it is equally important for drivers to take precautions when school is in session, as well as, for pedestrians.
“In addition to following all traffic laws, drivers should take extra care to look out for children in school zones and never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians,” Hale said. “All of us working together will create a safe environment for our students.”
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Abbey Pettiford, Safe Kids Greater Dayton Coordinator and Dayton Children’s Community Relations Prevention Coordinator, said in 2019 Dayton Children’s saw 51 pedestrian injures and 31 injuries from bike versus automobile collisions in the Emergency Department.
She said it is important to teach kids at an early age to look left, right and left again before crossing the street. Then remind them to continue looking until safely across.
“It’s always best to walk on sidewalks or paths and cross at street corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks,” Pettiford said. “If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Teach kids not to run or dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.”
Drivers should put cell phones and other distractions in the back seat or out of sight until their final destination and be especially alert and slow down when driving in residential neighborhoods and school zones.
“Be on the lookout for bikers, walkers or runners who may be distracted or may step into the street unexpectedly,” Pettiford said. “Give pedestrians the right of way and look both ways when making a turn to spot any bikers, walkers or runners who may not be immediately visible.”
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Parents are reminded to take this opportunity to review safety procedures with their children who walk to school. Pedestrian safety tips to review include:
• Map out safe routes to school with your children before they head out on their own.
• Walk on the sidewalk.
• Always cross the street at a corner or at a crosswalk and obey traffic signals; cross with a crossing guard if there is one.
• Look left, then right, then left again before crossing the street. Continue looking while you cross.
• Do not cross between parked cars where a driver cannot see you.
• Always make eye contact with drivers before you cross the street.