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Safe Kids Coalition

Pedestrians

 

children walkingHundreds of children are hit by cars and killed each year. Despite recent declines, pedestrian injury remains the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages 5 to 14.

 

When dealing with traffic, children under the age of 10 have difficulty judging how fast cars are moving, how far away they are, and which direction traffic sounds are coming from. Young children often have mistaken beliefs about cars. They think cars can stop instantly, or that if they can see a driver, the driver can see them. Most children are struck by cars in streets or driveways near their homes, darting out between parked cars, walking along the edge of the road, or crossing in the middle of the block or in front of a turning car. More than half of all pedestrian injuries occur when a vehicle is backing up and young children are at increased risk of pedestrian death and injury in driveways.

 

In Maricopa County between 1998 and 2002, 51 children under the age of 15 were killed as a pedestrian and 97 were injured as a pedestrian, with a grand total of 148 children injured or killed.

 

What Safe Kids is Doing

 

Pedestrian Safety Members of the coalition go into elementary schools and present pedestrian safety to the teachers and students. Every year, the coalition participates in the Safe Kids Walk This Way program by working with various schools to join in on the International Walk Your Child to School Day, held the first part of October. Members work with the schools teachers and administration to organize the students and parents to meet in a nearby site and all walk to school together. The police and fire departments are on hand to walk with the students and make sure they learn how to walk to school safely. Usually, the school holds an assembly, during which the students learn about pedestrian safety.

 

If you would like Safe Kids to come to your school, call us at 480.429.9535 and leave a message.

 

Safety Tips for Parents

 

  • Children under 10 should never cross the street alone. Hold the hand of an adult when crossing.

  • Older children should always cross streets at the corner, using traffic signals and crosswalks whenever possible.

  • Stop at the curb or the edge of the road before crossing the street.

  • Look left, right and left again for traffic before crossing, even if crossing with the light. Continue to look while crossing. Watch for cars that are turning or backing up.

  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them. Don't assume that because you can see the driver, the driver can see you.

  • Wear bright-colored clothing during the day. When walking at dawn, dusk or in bad weather, carry a flashlight and incorporate retro reflective materials on clothing, footwear and accessories. Children should never walk without adult supervision at night.

  • Do not run into the street or run while crossing.

  • Walk facing traffic, as far to the left as possible, when sidewalks are not available.

  • Do not play in driveways, unfenced yards, streets or parking lots.

  • Cross the street at least 10 feet in front of a school bus.

 

What Parents Should Teach Kids

 

  • Look left, right and left again before crossing the street. Cross when the street is clear, and keep looking both ways while crossing. Walk, don't run.

  • Understand and obey traffic signals and signs.

  • Cross at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks when available. Do not enter the street from between parked cars or behind bushes or shrubs.

  • Stop at the curb, or at the edge of the road if there is no curb, before crossing the street. Never run into a street without stopping...even for a ball, pet or any other reason. Darting into the street accounts for the majority of child pedestrian fatalities.

  • Walk facing traffic, on sidewalks or paths. Walk as far to the left as possible if there are no sidewalks.

  • Watch for cars that are turning or backing up.

 

Practice these skills with your children hundreds of times and supervise them until they show you they are safe pedestrians.

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Contact
Safe Kids Coalition of Maricopa County

 

Street Address:
4041 N. Central Ave.
Suite 700
Phoenix, AZ 85012

 

Telephone:
602.506.6850

 

Email us

 

Safe Kids Maricopa