By Sergeant Scott Reak
School is out, watch out. For kids that is. The school year has ended. Summer break brings a bag mixed emotions. Children are celebrating being able to sleep in and stay home all day. Parents are apprehensive for the same reasons. Either way, kids get bored, and will eventually find their way outside for activities. Summertime, along with carefree children, present additional hazards and areas of concern for motorists to be aware of.
Although drivers should be cautious all year long, pay extra attention while driving through neighborhoods during the summer break, as children are out and about. While you are driving, scan the area around you for children. Kids can be anywhere; walking, biking, or just playing near the roadway. Children are often unpredictable and unaware of the dangers that surround them. If you see kids near the road, slow down. Bicycles or toys near the roadway are clues that children may be playing. Playgrounds and parks are also areas with a high concentration of children. Use caution.
Even at slow speeds, kids can be in danger. Remember to check behind your vehicle before backing. Children are small, and can “hide” below your line of sight. Parking lots are another problematic area.
Parents, you’re not off the hook. Keep an eye on your kids. Make sure that they are aware of the hazards that roads present. Don’t leave your kids unattended, and keep them out of roadway traffic. Pay special attention in high traffic areas, such as parking lots, where lower speeds give the perception of safety.
It only takes a fraction of a second for an accident or injury to occur. Together, we can make sure that our children make it back to school safely without a tragic, traffic related event. Drive careful, kids are everywhere.