No matter what your child's school experience is this fall, it's critical to teach them how to be safe in and around Utah roadways.
When it comes to teaching your child how to walk and bike safely, UDOT has wonderful online resources available. Check out saferoutes.utah.gov to find a map of your school's safe route, tips for walking or biking safely, and several posts about safe summer activities, walking in the winter and helping kids during COVID-19.
UDOT's Safety Outreach Administrator, Kristen Hoschouer, says if your child is attending in-person school, and you are within walking distance she strongly suggests you encourage them to safely walk or bike. It not only benefits their health, but keeps them and others safe.
But, Hoschouer says pedestrian crashes and fatalities increase September through December, so you need to be aware both when you drive and when you're walking or biking on the road.
The tips to stay safe are simple and effective. Hoschouer says, "But the number one tip I can give both drivers and pedestrians: always be on the lookout for each other. Making eye contact with the driver and pedestrian is a great way to be sure they've both been seen and can proceed safely."
Other tips include:
● Be visible - do everything you can to make sure drivers see you
● Obey the law - Cross streets properly. Never risk jaywalking.
● Never assume right of way - Always look for cars in all directions
● Walk on sidewalks - If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic
● Be alert - walking impaired or distracted is dangerous
● Look for pedestrians when driving - especially in hard-to-see conditions
● Yield to pedestrians - never assume right of way
● Obey the law, including speed limits
● Be alert, never drive impaired or distracted
There's also a Walk & Roll Challenge going on now for K-8 graders. It rewards students monthly prizes for walking and biking to school. It runs from September to May... and the more students walk or bike, the greater chance of winning.
You can find more on saferoutes.utah.gov.