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Back to School Tips From Layton Police

Excerpt from Layton Police Crime Prevention Connection (Community Bulletin Section)

Pedestrian and Driver Safety

The beginning of a new school year is just around the corner. Layton Police Department wishes to remind parents to talk to your children and teenagers about pedestrian and vehicle safety.

According to the Utah Highway Safety Office, in 2010 there were 903 vehicle crashes in Utah in the month of September involving teenage drivers. Over 33% of these accidents resulted in injuries and 3 resulted in death. Teenage driver crashes were highest from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. (after school hours). The highest contributing factor for all teenage driver crashes was due to the driver following another vehicle too closely (17.4%). The highest contributing factor in teenage fatal crashes was speed and failure to maintain proper lane (14.3%).

Here are some driving tips for teens and parents.

Arrive to school five to ten minutes early and leave five to ten minutes late.
Watch for children getting on and off school buses.

Give yourself enough distance behind buses to clearly see all pedestrians.

Avoid distractions such as cell phones, radio, and other passengers.
Suggest turning cell phones off while driving. Do Not Text and Drive! It is illegal.

Obey all traffic lights and signs.
Be aware of speed limit signs, school zones, and obey crossing guards.

In the same year, the Utah Highway Safety Office reported the largest percentage of pedestrians hit by vehicles were between the ages of 10 and 19 years old. The months of September, October and November had the highest rates per day of pedestrian vs. motor vehicle crashes (2.90 accidents per day). Pedestrian vs. vehicle crashes were more likely to occur between 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Here are some tips to keep kids safe as they walk to school.

Cross streets safely.
Use crosswalks where crossing guards are present as much as possible. Make eye contact with drivers before you cross.

If it is dark in the early morning hours, be sure to dress your children in light colored clothing.

Plan a safe route for your child to walk.
Look to see if there are any obstructions on sidewalks such as over grown trees or bushes. Report any obstructions to the police department.

Layton Police Department would also like to remind parents and teenagers drivers of the following restrictions. In Utah, teenagers under the age of 18 may not operate a motor vehicle with any passenger who is not an immediate family member for the first six months from the date their driver????????s license was issued. In addition, a person younger than 17 years of age may not drive between the hours of midnight and 5:00 a.m. except:

~When accompanied by a licensed driver at least 21 years of age who is occupying a seat next to the driver, or
~Driving in connection to the driver????????s employment or school-sponsored activity, or
~The driver is on assignment of a farmer or rancher for agricultural purposes, or
~In an emergency.

Layton Police Department wants to ensure teenagers and children are safe while driving on the roadways and walking to and from school. For additional information driver and pedestrian safety tips, contact Officer Ottesen with Layton Police Department at 801-336-3424.

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