For Greene County News
DAYTON – More than 55 million children across the U.S. are heading back to school! Kids, bicyclists and newly trained AAA School Safety Patrollers will be headed to a crosswalk near you. Did you know speed limits in school zones help save lives? A pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at 25mph is two-thirds less likely to be killed compared to a vehicle traveling just 10mph faster.
AAA is partnering with Miami Valley area law enforcement agencies and community safety engineers to remind drivers to be especially vigilant for pedestrians during – – before and after school hours. In the last decade, more than one-fourth of child pedestrian fatalities occurred after school – between the hours of 3 to 7 PM. “More than 1,200 children lost their lives during these after-school hours between 2000 and 2010,” cautioned AAA Public Affairs Manager, Cindy Antrican.
Today more than 40 AAA School Safety Patrollers attended a newly designed Kettering School Safety Patrol Workshop. Beavertown Elementary School, Counselor and AAA Safety Patrol advisor, Joellen Nichols and City of Kettering Senior Safety Supervisor, Marc Rasor were recipients of a $500 AAA Advancement Grant in 2015. Beavertown school applied part of the grant money to create an interactive training program for their School Safety Patrollers in conjunction with the purchase of new radio communication devices.
This is a combined effort to advance the school safety for student Safety Patrol and school pedestrians. During the training students at Kettering’s Beavertown elementary school took part in classroom training and then move outside to practice with City of Kettering Crossing Guards. Patrollers will also receive instructions about flag etiquette from City of Kettering Police Honor Guard.
AAA clubs created the first School Safety Patrol programs in the 1920s by enlisting the service of older students to assist younger children crossing streets on their way to and from school. Today’s program has evolved into something more than a crossing guard concept. Student patrol members can provide safety services as escorts for bus riders, inside school hallways and classrooms, on playgrounds, and in lunchrooms.
AAA offers six ways to keep kids safe this school year:
1. Slow down. Speed limits in school zones are reduced for a reason. A pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at 25 mph is nearly two-thirds less likely to be killed compared to a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling just 10 mph faster.
2. Eliminate distractions. Children often cross the road unexpectedly and may emerge suddenly between two parked cars. Research shows that taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles your chances of crashing.
3. Reverse responsibly. Every vehicle has blind spots. Check for children on the sidewalk, driveway and around your vehicle before slowly backing up. Teach your children to never play in, under or around vehicles—even those that are parked.
4. Talk to your teen. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, and more than one in four fatal crashes involving teen drivers occur during the after-school hours of 3 to 7 p.m. Get evidence-based guidance and tips at TeenDriving.AAA.com.
5. Come to a complete stop. Research shows that more than one third of drivers roll through stop signs in school zones or neighborhoods. Always come to a complete stop, checking carefully for children on sidewalks and in crosswalks before proceeding.
6. Watch for bicycles. Children on bikes are often inexperienced, unsteady and unpredictable. Slow down and allow at least three feet of passing distance between your vehicle and the bicycle. If your child rides a bicycle to school, require that they wear a properly-fitted bicycle helmet on every ride. Find videos, expert advice and safety tips at Exchange.AAA.com.