Most Southwest Louisiana schools are now closed for the summer break so it’s an important time to remind drivers and parents about the importance of keeping children safe throughout the next few months.
Children will soon be hitting the streets to soak up the sun on their bikes, scooters and inline skates, starting pick-up games of kickball with their friends or lining the curbs with street hockey gear. Drivers should be extra cautious in looking for child pedestrians and bicyclists during the summer.
Here are some tips from Scholastic.com for area drivers:
Be alert, especially in residential areas.
Expect the unexpected. Children may cross the street at the wrong place or suddenly run or ride in front of you.
Obey all laws. Slow down if there are children along the road or crossing the street. Come to a full stop at intersections.
Be predictable. Don’t make sudden maneuvers that others, particularly children on foot or on a bicycle, are not expecting.
Double check behind you and around you when backing out of a driveway or parking space.
Put down the coffee, put down the cell phone, and put both hands on the wheel. Avoid distractions within your vehicle, including loud music.
Yield the right of way to pedestrians, it’s the law.
Here are tips for parents:
Teach your children to make eye contact with the driver before they cross, even if the walk signal is on.
Remind them to walk, don’t run cross the road and to stop, look and listen before crossing the street.
Teach your children to cross at intersections that have a marked crosswalk or a pedestrian crossing light.
Teach children to watch out for cars that are backing up. When walking with your child, avoid unnecessary shortcuts like walking through a parking lot. Drivers may not see children between parked cars and the children may not see the cars moving.
Remind children not to play in or around vehicles.
Outdoor play is great for children, helping them expend energy, socialize with other children, and stay healthy. Just make sure your children are safe and know what to do around vehicles.