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The City of Titusville, Florida / Fire & Emergency Services / NewsBack to School Safety
On August fourteenth, students attending public schools in Brevard County will be returning for a new school year. Many students will be walking to school, mixing with bicyclists, other pedestrians, school buses and parents dropping off their children. Other children will be riding bicycles.
To some children, the route to and from their school campus will be new to them; to others, they'll assume they know everything there is to know about walking or riding between school and home. Titusville Fire and Emergency Services Department asks parents to talk to and work with their children this weekend to make sure they are ready to travel independently and safely to their schools. Here's why:
Safety Tips for Parents
- Sixty-one children are injured by vehicles every day while walking and 500 walkers are killed annually after being struck by vehicles.
- Teenagers comprise the second highest age group of fatalities among walkers.
- Most pedestrian injuries and fatalities occur annually during the first month when schools open.
- More children ages 5 to 14 are seen in emergency rooms for bicycle injuries than any other sport.
- The age group of 16 years and under account for the highest injury and death rate for pedalcyclists.
Safety Tips for Children
- Make sure that your child has either walked the route to and from school or ridden the route via bicycle several times successfully before school starts. Driving the route in a vehicle and showing the child is not sufficient for the child to make the connection of cross streets and which ways to turn.
- Walking or cycling the route will also make parents more aware of any hazards, such as open gratings, potholes or blind spots children will need to be aware of and parents can work with children on actions to be taken.
Safety Tips for Drivers
- Make eye contact with drivers before stepping into the road; that way, you'll be sure that the driver sees you and the action you're going to take.
- If you need to use your cell phone stop walking, and talk in a safe location.
- Headphones are to be removed before crossing the street.
- Walk on sidewalks and paths.
- If there are no sidewalks, walk facing the traffic as far to the left as possible and pay attention to vehicular traffic.
- Younger kids need to cross the street with adults or crossing guards.
- Cross the street at corners; make sure to use traffic signals and crosswalks.
- Practice crossing the street by looking left, right and left again to check for any oncoming traffic or dangers.
- Keep looking and listening while crossing the street.
- Drivers should slow down and be alert in residential neighborhoods and in school zones.
- Remember to allow extra time so that there is no time crunch in slowing before and after school hours.
- Using cell phones, even hands free, can be distracting, especially when walkers/bicyclists may also be distracted.
For more information go to Safe Kids: http://www.safekids.org/blog-post/during-back-school-season-lets-make-sure-all-cries-are-good-ones or contact Life Safety Specialist Heather Gilmore at 321-383-5708, www.titusville.com