With the start of each new school year, it is important for parents and drivers to be aware of children walking to and from school. Whether students walk, bike, skate, ride or drive to school, it takes everyone to ensure they get there safely.
Walking Safety Tips:
- Look for traffic at every driveway and intersection. Be aware of drivers in parked cars that may be getting ready to move.
- Obey all traffic signs and signals.
- Wear bright-colored clothes, and carry flashlights or wear reflective gear if it is dark or hard to see.
- Cross the street safely:
- Stop at the curb or edge of the street.
- Look left, right, behind you and in front of you for traffic.
- Wait until no traffic is coming before you begin crossing.
- Keep looking for traffic until you have finished crossing.
- Walk, don’t run, ride or bike across the street.
Choose the safest route to school
- Select a walking route with less traffic and intersections.
- Pick places where there are sidewalks or paths separated from traffic. If there are no sidewalks or paths, walk as far from the motor vehicles as possible and, if possible, on the side of the street facing traffic.
- Limit the number of street crossings. When available, cross at a location with an adult school crossing guard.
- Avoid crossing busy or high-speed streets.
At the busier intersections, schools are encouraged to place crossing guards. The County and School District work to ensure that those guards are well-trained.
The following are some tips from Douglas County when there is a crossing guard:
- Obey what the crossing guard is asking you to do.
- Wait two or three feet behind the curb.
- When invited by a crossing guard, always walk. Do not ride a bike, run or skateboard.
Douglas County has also worked with schools to mitigate hazards, by streamlining the drop-off and pick-up areas. In other cases, parents who may have driven carefully while dropping off students at school — speed off or drive distractedly as they head off to work, placing other kids in danger.
For more information about back to school driving tips visit the National Safety Council.
Colorado state laws establish the rights and responsibilities for both pedestrians and drivers within all of Colorado per C.R.S. #42-4-802.
REMEMBER…Crossing a street can become a matter of life or death, so plan, observe and don’t take risks. Because our children learn by example, be sure to follow traffic laws and safety tips at all times. Teach your children these rules and then be sure to follow them yourself as a pedestrian and as a driver Visit the Douglas County School District – School Safety Zones, for walk routes.