NDSC urges students, drivers to be safe this back-to-school season

According to Safe Kids Worldwide, unintentional pedestrian injuries are the fifth leading cause of injury-related death in the U.S. for children ages 5 to 19. And with the new school year upon us, it is important for everyone to exercise caution this time of year.

“There is going to be a lot of extra traffic before and after school hours,” says Peter Pomonis, NDSC Home and Community Coordinator. “If you’re driving during those times, it’s important to be on the lookout for pedestrians.”

The North Dakota Safety Council offers these simple tips to both drivers and pedestrians this back-to-school season:

Talk to your kids about how to be safe while walking. It’s always best to walk on sidewalks or paths and cross at street corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.

Teach kids at an early age to put down their devices and then look left, right and left again when crossing a street.

Children under 10 should cross the street with an adult. Every child is different, but developmentally, it can be hard for kids to judge speed and distance of cars until age 10.

Remind kids to make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street and to watch out for cars that are turning or backing up.

When driving, be especially alert in residential neighborhoods and school zones and be on the lookout for bikers, walkers, or runners who may be distracted or may step into the street unexpectedly. SLOW DOWN.

NEVER pass a stopped school bus that is loading or unloading students. It is required by law for both sides of the street to stop when the bus’ red lights are flashing and/or stop sign is deployed.

“We hope parents will share these tips with their children, whether they’re walking or driving to school. It could mean the difference between life and death.”

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