Action News reports on the safety of the roads in Clay County now that school has resumed. With thousands of students walking to bus stops and catching rides with parents, Ron Page of the Northeast Florida Safety Council said it’s up to drivers to be proactive and protect children along the road. According to Mr. Page, defensive driving is the only way to insure the children stay safe. Clay County has 40 school zones where there are reduced speeds, signage or lights alerting drivers to the beginning and ending points of the zone. These ‘alerts’ are the driver’s cue to be prepared for anything. Only some of the school zones have a crossing guard, so drivers should be looking for children. “Try to understand that kids are not going to do their thinking for you, you have to do it for them,” Page said. “You should be scanning from left to right with your eyes on a regular basis, every 12 to 15 seconds.”
Did you know that one in five high school students and one in eight middle school students crosses the street while distracted. Safekids.org researched the issue and found that 39 percent of the students who are crossing the street while distracted are typing on a cell phone and 39 percent are listening to headphones. The remaining students are talking on the phone (20 percent) or using another electronic device, such as a tablet or game (2 percent). In addition, the study also found that almost half of the students (49 percent) say they use a cell phone while walking to school. Four out of 10 say they listen to music while walking. Interestingly, while teens are at the greatest risk for pedestrian crashes, only 22 percent of students say it is kids their own age who are most likely to be hit by a car while walking.
So slow down and be aware as you approach school zones. We all need to make sure our children are safe.