You’ve heard the saying, “there is safety in numbers”. With kids heading back to school, that may not always be the case. In the city of Anderson, students have been seen walking to various schools in the area. While that isn’t rare, the recurring situation being noticed is of growing concern to Anderson parents. On several occasions over the past two weeks, students have been so busy talking that they are forgetting to watch for traffic. One mom reported that while driving down Anderson’s North street, two teenage girls walked directly into traffic as they headed for Anderson New Tech High School. Neither girl noticed they were jaywalking until the squeal of tires suddenly alerted them to where they were. Since then, similar situations have been noted at various locations.
While walking with friends may help to keep you safer from those wishing harm, the distractions of talking or listening to music could easily prove to be deadly. There are easy ways to stay safe this school year.
1. When you get to a corner, don’t talk. Care for yourself and your friends enough to make watching traffic your priority.
2. Stick to the crosswalks and remember the law. While pedestrians using proper crosswalks are given the “right of way” in California, the law also states that a pedestrian can’t suddenly leave the sidewalk without notice to vehicles. This means that if you are walking, it is your job to make sure no cars are already in motion before you continue your walk or run across the street. As in the case of Anderson, if you are walking west on North street, drivers may not expect you to suddenly turn North. They may believe you are heading toward Anderson High School. A 2 second pause to make certain all cars know what you are doing may save your life.
3. When you cross, move it, don’t lose it. Make certain you have everything safely in a backpack before you get to the crosswalk. Leaving things in your hands that can be dropped in the middle of the street could be a deadly mistake. With everything secure, and your backpack safely zipped and on your back where it belongs, you can cross the street quickly and reduce any possible traffic hazzards. Besides, teachers most likely will accept “My homework blew down the street” about as easily as they accept “My dog ate my homework”.
It is important to be with friends when walking home, but it is better to make wise choices that will keep you and your friends safe for years to come.