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Crosswalk safety reminders as children head back to school

Safety for kids getting to school is a top priority.

Make sure you and your family know the steps to take to use crosswalks properly. Parents, it’s up to you to educate your little ones.

“If your kids are walking to school alone, or even with you, make sure you’re using those crosswalk pedestrian signals to give yourself some extra time,” Utah Department of Transportation spokesman John Gleason said.

Year after year, KSL covers stories of kids being hit walking to school. Gleason gave some ideas to help keep your family safe.

“Walk the route with them before their first day, just so they’re familiar with it.”

Second, teach them how to use the pedestrian signal buttons and to wait.

And third, when crossing, always have them look all ways and then stay in the designated area.

“As a parent, it’s critical for us to really teach our kids to look twice. Cars are not always going to see them. They’re not always looking out,” Gleason said.

Making eye contact with the driver before crossing is key to staying safe.

A few other helpful ideas: Pull up a map online and map out routes with your kids. Find the crossing areas and places where it may be difficult for a driver to see them, like curves in the road.

Don’t walk along the street distracted — meaning put away your phone, and if you listen to ear buds, keep the volume low enough that you can see oncoming cars.

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