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How to Keep Kids Safe Walking to School

Posted at 1:38 PM, Oct 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-15 15:38:21-04

Although some kids may be doing home school, others are at school part or full-time and that means we need to be careful as they are walking to, from and around schools.

Injury Attorney, Craig Swapp, tells us that nationally about 68,000 pedestrians are hit by cars each year, and the victims are disproportionately children. Every year in Utah we have tragic cases where children are hit on streets near and around schools.

Many accidents involving kids hit by cars around schools are completely preventable. What else can parents do? Here are some tips:

- Walk the route with your kids so that they understand the safety the route requires.
- Make sure kids understand where to cross the street.
- Teach your kids to make eye contact with the driver and make sure they see you and begin to slow before entering the crosswalk.
- If you child has to cross the street to the bus stop, teach them to stop, look both ways for vehicles and then cross to the bus stop. If they are racing late for the bus, they still need to stop and look both ways (even if they miss the bus).
- How about when dropping kids off at school? We all know that can be a hectic scene. When possible parents should pull all the way up to the curb before letting the kids out as close as possible to school doors.

And for all drivers, here's what you need know:

- Remember that children can be unpredictable and may be on the sidewalk one moment and then suddenly dart across the street to the school the next moment. Always pay special attention to any children in your line of sight.
- Slowing down in school zones. Last year the West Valley Police Department did a study where they monitored a crosswalk for 4 hours. 108 total violations by drivers were recorded. As drivers, it's our responsibility to slow down near crosswalks and to be especially vigilant during the morning and afternoon hours in school zones.
- Never pass a stopped bus with its lights flashing.

If you or someone you know is injured you can go to for more information.