Keeping kids safe as they walk to school in the dark

By: Joel Schipper Email
By: Joel Schipper Email

In just a couple of weeks your kids may be heading out to go trick or treating. It’s one night a year when both parents and kids need to be extra careful crossing the streets; but every morning can be just as dangerous for students who walk to school in the dark.

In 2008, 1 in every 5 children between the ages of 5 and 9 who were killed in traffic accidents were pedestrians.

On Tuesday in South Bend, we saw many kids and parents using cross walks near Madison Primary. It's a crossing guard's duty to make sure your kids are safe as they enter the street and stop to oncoming drivers.

Safekids.org says it's a great idea for parents to have their children wear some sort of reflective clothing or carry a small flashlight for drivers to see them.

When it comes to kids walking and their safety, it's important for all parties to work together and keep an eye out for each other -- that includes drivers.

"It's up to us to work with the crossing guard, work with the teachers, work with whoever you know, to make it easier upon the child,” said Tina Robinson, the grandparent of a student. "We as parents, we have to be more responsible. You know, not just send our kids but take the time and bring them when we can bring them to school. We asked God for these children so it's our responsibility as parents to take care of our children."

"The crossing guard really provides a wonderful service,” said Madison Primary principal Sharon Hurt. “The street here is very busy and so having her there and the kids respecting her, listening to her, and the cars obeying the things she's asking them to do -- it really provides safety to our students."

Kids should walk on the sidewalks as much as possible, only cross on a crosswalk or when a guard is present, and if they have to walk in the street -- they should walk facing oncoming traffic.

Parents' fears became reality after an accident in east-central Indiana last week.

An 11-year-old New Castle boy died after being hit by a car as he walked to school. A teen was also hurt in the same accident.

While neighbors say a lot of children use the route to walk to school, they're walking in the dark.

This can make even groups of children hard to see when cars are coming around corners. The day after the accident, every student was driven to school by their parents.


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