Schools are opening, and walking to school is a great way to start the day. It’s important to stay safe while walking, so keep in mind these tips from the Safe Routes to School National Partnership.
Always walk on the sidewalk when one is available; never walk in the street. Avoid parking lots and driveways where cars may be backing out and vision can be limited.
When crossing a street, follow these guidelines:
- Always stop at the curb or edge of the street.
- Look left, right and then left again before walking. Look behind you and in front for traffic while crossing.
- Listen for cars. Do you hear any loud sounds?
- When you are sure there is no traffic nearby, begin crossing.
- Always walk, never run, across the street.
It’s important to be seen while walking to school. Wear bright colors or reflective gear. Be sure to walk with friends or family members — not only is it safer, but it will be more fun!
Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Always pay attention to what is happening around you when walking to school. It’s safer and may help you avoid being hurt.
Sharing the road with young pedestrians
According to research by the National Safety Council, most of the children who lose their lives in bus-related incidents are 4-7 years old, and they’re walking. They are hit by the bus, or by a motorist illegally passing a stopped bus.
A few precautions go a long way toward keeping children safe:
- Don’t block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn, forcing pedestrians to go around you; this could put them in the path of moving traffic.
- In a school zone when flashers are blinking, stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection.
- Always stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard holding up a stop sign.
- Take extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks and in all residential areas.
- Don’t honk or rev your engine to scare a pedestrian, even if you have the right of way.
- Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians.
- Always use extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians wherever they may be, no matter who has the right of way.