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Sep 04

Pedestrian Safety

Posted on September 4, 2020 at 8:26 AM by Kristy Bansemer

My phone rang and I got the call no parent wants to hear.

“Mr. Russell, I need you to meet the ambulance at the hospital. Your son was hit by a car.”

My heart sank. He had just been dropped off for cross country practice. How could this happen? Turns out, he was hit in the parking lot of his school. He and two other runners exited between two vehicles. A car was speeding and hit my son.

Luckily, he only sustained a concussion and some scrapes.

Did you know that kids ages 10 to 14 are the most likely to be involved in a pedestrian accident? As school gets ready to start there will be more kids out walking and biking early in the morning and starting around three o’clock in the afternoon. Most vehicle accidents involving juvenile pedestrians occur in September and October.

In 2019, Derby had three pedestrian accidents involving juveniles. Our goal is to see that number at zero.

Pedestrian and school safety should be a priority for us all. Have discussions with your family about how they are getting to and from school, what routes they are taking, and who your children walk with. It’s a good idea to get their contact information in case of an emergency or when your son or daughter has not charged their phone.

Make sure your children use the sidewalks (reduces accidents by almost 90 percent), use crosswalks and avoid distractions. Put down phones, headphones and other devices when crossing or waiting to cross streets.

Statistics show that 25 percent of high school students cross the street while distracted. Everyone should cross at a crosswalk, check both ways before crossing the street and walk with their head up and alert. Drivers should be hypervigilant in their awareness of pedestrians, especially during the hours before and after school.

We want to make sure our families are as safe as possible to avoid injuries. Make sure your family practices safe habits when walking and avoids distractions. We encourage you to teach your children to do everything they can to get safely to and from school so parents don’t receive a phone call to respond to the hospital like I did several years ago.  

Wishing you a safe and healthy school year.

Brandon Russell
Deputy Police Chief