Summer 2013 doesn’t officially end until the fall equinox on Sept. 22, but in our area the closing of the county fair signals the unofficial end of the season, and this week, school will officially be in session in Gardner, Edgerton and Spring Hill. Students are heading back to classes and with that, the yellow school buses will be running routes throughout our communities and the surrounding areas.
Drivers need to be aware of the yellow school buses as well as watching out for youngsters standing at their designated bus stops, especially on the rural routes. In town, drivers need to be alert for children walking to school.
Slow down. Be careful.
Instead of staying in bed up to the last second before getting up and driving fast in order to get to work on time, people should get up a little early so they can take their time on the road.
Drivers need to exercise patience and caution, especially in school zones.
While most of the responsibility for traffic safety rests with drivers, following simple guidelines may help children navigate the sidewalks to school.
Children need to be aware of their responsibilities as pedestrians and the potential dangers and hazards that can impede their safe passage to and from school. Oftentimes children lack the necessary skills to be able to properly judge traffic and safety.
Among children ages five to 14, pedestrian-related injury is the second leading cause of death. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2003 nearly 400 pedestrians and 130 bicyclists between the ages of 0-14 lost their lives in traffic accidents. Most pedestrian- involved traffic accidents for this age group occur after school between the hours of 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Children who will be walking to school need parents to remind them of safety rulesSafe Kids Walk This Way is a program created by FedEx and Safe Kids Worldwide. They have put together a list of child pedestrian safety rules that may be helpful. Kids should be reminded to cross the street at corners and in crosswalks and to obey traffic signals; to walk on the sidewalks when available; to only cross in front of buses and other cars when the driver can see them; and to seek the help of an adult when possible.
We hope all drivers and pedestrians are paying careful attention to the rules of the road as the school year kicks-off once again.