Drivers Need to Be Aware of Kids Returning to School

Drivers Need to Be Aware of Kids Returning to School

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Jed Boal ReportingTomorrow marks the first day of school for students in Salt Lake School District and by this time next week, all Utah school children will be back in class, but, the walk to school can be dangerous. Six people were hurt yesterday in two separate crashes as they crossed the street.

We all know students are heading back to school; we see them walking, playing, riding their bikes. Each year health and safety experts warn us to slow down and stay alert; each year kids get hurt when drivers don't pay attention.

Yesterday in American Fork a car hit three girls crossing a busy street in the crosswalk. Police say an SUV in the first lane stopped, but a car in the second lane did not. The impact tossed them 10 feet in the air, but they will be ok.

And a Layton woman and two of her children were seriously hurt when a car hit them leaving Back To School Night at an elementary school. The driver said the sun was in his eyes.

At a safety fair, children brushed up on safe crossings.

Carole Avery, Salt Lake County Health Dept.: "The theme for this campaign is walking and watching equal safety."

Parents can teach their children safety rules. Show them how to use the crosswalks by teaching them to stop, listen and look for cars. Show them how to look left, right and left again before crossing streets. And help them find the safest route to school.

Behind the wheel we need to pay close attention too, because the children may not, especially in the morning and evening.

Carol Avery: "A child can dart out very quickly from between cars or at an intersection. Intersections can be hazardous because people feel safe."

Here are some tips for drivers:

  • Slow down in school and residential areas.
  • Drive with headlights on, even during the day, so children and other drivers can see you.
  • Be aware of crossing guards and children on bicycles.
  • Always stop for school buses that are loading and unloading students.

Children's peripheral vision is one-third narrower than adults', so don't count on them seeing you if you approach from the side.

This advice could come in handy as early as tomorrow when students of Salt Lake School District will be back in the classroom.

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