Our children returned to the classroom on Tuesday and while many parents may be cheering, it’s also a time of concern. More than one-fourth of child pedestrian fatalities occur between 3 and 7 p.m.
Those times are when schools are dismissing kids from the classroom or when they are headed home from school-related activities.
Now, more than ever, drivers need to be careful turning corners, backing out of driveways and driving through school zones.
Making things worse is that the days around here will soon get dark and rainy as fall and winter approach.
Adding to the risk is the fact well known to most that kids simply don’t look. We cannot depend on them to be looking out for drivers. We wish they did — we remind them constantly — but more often than not, their young minds are elsewhere.
It is up to us to be extra vigilant.
While parents and school staff are out in force around elementary schools, students at the high school are less supervised on the streets. They are expected to be old enough to handle themselves. Well, we know better.
We do expect that the police will be out next week, along streets that pass by schools. And we trust that they will hand out tickets even to those who say, “oops, sorry,” when they’re pulled over.
So let’s all take a deep breath, take our feet off the gas pedal and put kids first. Slow down.
AAA has some good advice for motorists:
• Obey the 20 mph speed limit in school zones.
• Don’t roll through stop signs in school zones or neighborhoods.
• Eliminate distractions. Put down the phone. Turn down the radio. Don’t continue that argument from last night with a passenger.
• And stay sharp.