Elementary school students learn dangers of jaywalking

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SALT LAKE CITY — It can be tempting for a small child to run out into the street, but it can end in the worst way imaginable. Children at North Star Elementary School in Salt Lake City took the classroom outside Tuesday to practice ways to stay out of the road.

“I want you guys to learn from this,” said principal Lew Gardiner. “I want you guys to learn that we don’t jaywalk for a reason.”

Kids will see a parent on the other side of the street and just take off, Gardiner said. That choice puts them at a terrible risk.

But it’s not just the kids.

“I saw (a group of students) jaywalking and said to go to the crosswalk and come back to their car,” said Idamae Hawthorn, the school’s safety coordinator. “The father spoke to me and said, ‘They’re with me.’ I said, ‘I was talking to you.’”

As part of Safety Month, students helped a Salt Lake police officer radar passing cars after school. They looked for speeders, but instead confirmed a more frequent problem.

“The biggest problem we saw was kids walking across the street not on a crosswalk,” said 4th grader Samantha Barker. “Maybe they’re too lazy and don’t want to do it.”

The school would love to add a crosswalk, some speed bumps or even some speed limit markers with flashing lights, but for now they have to make do with “school” painted on the road and the occasional pedestrian sign, Hawthorn said.

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Andy Farnsworth


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