Students back to school, watch roads

Published on Thu, Sep 4, 2003
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Students back to school, watch roads

As more than a million Washington students return to school, AAA reminds motorists to slow down and watch out for young pedestrians.

�Children get caught up in the excitement of �back-to-school� season and forget to look out for cars,� said Janet Ray, managing director of corporate communications. �Many youngsters have trouble making accurate judgments about traffic speed and distance, so drivers have to be particularly aware.�

One-fourth of all children 14 years of age and younger who die in motor vehicle crashes are pedestrians, according to the national highway traffic safety administration.�The majority of these pedestrian fatalities happen in the afternoon hours when school is letting out.�

AAA�s school�s open drive carefully campaign encourages motorists to stay alert in areas where children are present, paying special attention during the morning and afternoon hours while children are coming to and from school.�Drivers should look out for children who may dart out into the street near school zones, playgrounds, bus stops, and in neighborhoods.

As part of the school�s drive carefully campaign, AAA offers drivers tips to keep school children safe:
� Slow down in or near school and residential areas.
� Drive with your headlights on � even during the day � so children and other drivers can see you.
� Look for clues such as school safety patrollers, crossing guards, bicycles, and playgrounds which indicate children could be in the area.
� Scan between parked cars and other objects for signs that children could dart into the road.
� Practice extra caution in adverse weather conditions.
� Pay particular attention near schools during the morning and afternoon hours.
� Always stop for school buses that are loading and unloading students. �Drivers should always be aware of their surroundings, but especially around children,� said Ray.