Child Pedestrian Safety
A Twelve Year Old Nearly Hit in a Crosswalk in Hernando County
Last week twelve year old, Raymond Pearson, was on his way to school and was crossing at the intersection of Sunshine Grove Road and Ken Austin Parkway. There were two crossing guards present, Sonny Isabell and Mike Bachmayer, who were monitoring the intersection. As they were crossing with Raymond, a truck ran the red light and if not for the alert and decisive action by the crossing guards Raymond may have been struck and killed. Before the truck reached the young student, Bachmeyer shouted a warning to Isabell who was able to drag Raymond and his back away from the path of the speeding truck. Incidents such as this highlight the need for continued efforts to educate children and drivers, alike, on issues of pedestrian safety.
”Walk this Way” – Safety Initiative for Young Children
In 1999, Safe Kids Worldwide and FedEx created the Walk this Way program. The goal was to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities of child pedestrians. The goals of the program were to improve:
1. Awareness and Advocacy To improve awareness and advocacy, two events were created. In October of each year millions of children participate in a Walk to School Day. The goal of the program is to teach children safe routes from home to school and basic pedestrian safety. Also, the program sponsors Halloween safety events around the country. Children are twice as likely to be hit and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year;
2. Infrastructure The Walk this Way program has raised funding to improve the infrastructure in areas surrounding schools. Some of the improvements which the program has endorsed and funded include flashing crosswalk signs, countdown timers at crosswalks, large signs to mark crossing walk areas and the solar powered school zone signs that indicate the speed of passing cars;
3. Research The Walk this Way program has researched and tested various educational programs and infrastructure changes to determine which changes might positively affect child safety; and
4. Education Programs The Walk this Way program has made a worldwide commitment to educating children on basic pedestrian safety. This includes live programs and numerous YouTube videos.
The Walk this Way has been a tremendous success. Since its inception, child pedestrian fatalities are down 40% in the United States.
Child Pedestrian Safety Tips
First, most accidents in which a child is struck by a car do not happen in a crosswalk. This highlights two safety issues: one, drivers need to be very alert, especially near schools and during the periods of time which correspond with the children’s arrival and departure from school; two, children need to be taught not to dart out on to busy street without looking. Children, need to be discouraged from taking any risks when crossing the street, as they are unable to correctly gauge speed until the age of 10. Here are some basic tips for making sure your children are safe while walking:
1. Educate your children;
2. Teach children to used sidewalks and crosswalks;
3. Teach children to use crosswalks whenever possible;
4. Teach children to look left, right and then left again before crossing any street;
5. Teach children to make eye contact with the driver before crossing in front a car;
6. Children under 10 should not cross streets without an adult; and
7. Teach your children not to used headphones or cell phones while walking. They do not need any distractions;
Jones Law Group
Have you or a loved one been injured in a bicycle, pedestrian or car accident? Contact an experienced St. Petersburg personal injury attorney at Jones Law Group today. When you contact our office we will immediately set an appointment where you will meet your attorney and be provided with his/her personal contact information. If you do not have transportation or you cannot drive, your attorney will travel to meet you and discuss your case with you.
Whether you were a pedestrian, a bicyclist, or the occupant of car, motorcycle or boat and have been injured in an accident, you should immediately call an experienced personal injury attorney in St. Petersburg at Jones Law Group at (727) 571-1333 during regular business hours or (727) 753-8657 on weekends or after regular business hours. We will evaluate your case for free and you will never pay us a dime unless we recover compensation for your injuries.
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