Tips for keeping kids safe on their way to and from school

Bryant Elementary Waslking School BusOne of the most common public safety complaints made by Ravenna-Bryant neighbors is about pedestrian, bike, and traffic safety. With the start of a new school year upon us and less daylight, now is a good time to remember safety tips. Here are a few from SPD North Precinct Captain Sean O’Donnell, who attended schools in the Ravenna-Bryant area during his childhood.

For drivers

  • Abide by speed limits, especially when entering a school zone. Speeding in a school zone can result in a $214 ticket.
  • Watch for children entering the street from behind buses or running to catch a bus.
  • Drive slowly when approaching children riding bicycles and walking near the street.
  • Never pass or overtake a vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk. A pedestrian is probably in the crosswalk. Doing so can result in a $136 ticket.
  • Pedestrians have the right of way at ALL intersections, whether in a marked crosswalk or not. On a two-lane road, the pedestrian must be completely across the roadway before drivers begin moving again.
  • Do not drive distracted (cell phone, eating, etc.)
  • NEVER DRINK AND DRIVE or drive under the influence of drugs.

For pedestrians

  • Pay close attention to surroundings, avoid being on “automatic pilot.”
  • Pick routes with good lighting, clear visibility, and sidewalks. If there is no sidewalk and you must walk in the road, always walk facing traffic. See and be seen – drivers need to see you to avoid you.
  • Plan a safe walking route to school that is direct with the fewest street crossing and, if possible, with intersections that have traffic controls.
  • Pedestrians do not have the right of way when crossing mid-block. Cross streets only at corners, marked crosswalks, or intersections.
  • Avoid walking while listening to an iPod, cell phone, or other device with ear buds or headphones. Like with drivers, these cut down on your awareness of what’s happening around you.