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Pedestrian Safety
12/11/09
  • STOP at the curb or edge of the road.
  • NEVER run into a street.
  • LISTEN and LOOK for traffic to the left, to the right, and to the left again.
  • Teach children who don't know left from right to look "this way," "that way," and "this way.")
  • WAIT until the street is clear.
  • KEEP LOOKING until you've crossed the street safely.
  • ACCOMPANY your children until they can show you that they are safe pedestrians.
  • Many of the children who die of traffic injuries are killed while playing, running, walking or crossing a street.  Cross street hundreds of times with your children before letting them cross alone.

Young children (ages 5-9) are at risk crossing a street alone because:

  • They "dart out" into traffic.
  • They believe if they can see the driver, the driver can see them.
  • The believe cars can stop quickly.
  • They can't tell which direction sound is coming from.
  • Their peripheral vision is only 1/3 of an adult.
  • They don't recognize danger or react to it.
  • They can't tell how fast a car is traveling or how far away it is.

Remind older children to:

  • USE sidewalks.
  • KEEP to the left and walk facing traffic where there are no sidewalks.
  • BE seen at night.  Trim clothing with materials that reflect light.  ("Reflective" tape is an excellent choice.  It's not expensive and available at fabric, sporting goods, and hardware stores.)

Choose the safest route and walk it with your children.  Look for the most direct route with the fewest street crossings.  Walk the route with your children until they demonstrate traffic safety awareness.  Children under age 8 should walk with an adult or older child every day.  They should take the same route and avoid shortcuts.

Children should be taught to obey all traffic markers.  A flashing "walk" sign is not an automatic "go" signal; it means a pedestrian has permission to cross, but must first stop and check for cars.

Lots of children get hit when they run into the street after a baseball, a basketball, a football, or a Frisbee.  Teach your child to never run into the street.  No toy is more important than A CHILD'S LIFE.

Pedestrian injuries have become the second leading cause of unintentional death among children ages 5-14, according to the national Center for Health Statistics.

Children should learn street safety as soon as they are ready to walk outdoors.  But they need your help.

Bike Riding:

  • Ride with the traffic and obey all traffic rules.
  • Wear a helmet.
  • Keep your bicycle in good repair.
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