Students are headed back to school in a matter of days, and that has Chattanooga Police concerned. With the increase of traffic and more pedestrians on the streets, that means a greater likelihood of accidents. An uptick in crashes between vehicles and those on foot just recently has officials warning both drivers and pedestrians to watch out for each other when out on the roads.
“It is tragic that this is to be expected every year,” says Gary Massey of Massey & Associates, PC. “Every September drivers have to be reminded to watch out for pedestrians, and every year the number of accidents is still too high.”
That is true, particularly for 2019. The stats show that pedestrian accidents increased in 2019 from January to August. While this year saw 68 crashes, there were 66 last year. Although that number may have only increased by two, it still means many more serious injuries, and perhaps even more fatalities.
To prevent these crashes and increase the chances of children getting to and from school safely, the Chattanooga police have reminders for both drivers and pedestrians. Motorists should always slow down in school zones and stop for buses that have the red lights flashing. When at an intersection, it is important to respect the crossing guard’s signals and keep a safe distance from crosswalks.
Pedestrians too, should take some safety precautions, officers warn. When possible, crosswalks should always be used. Additionally, when crossing at lights, it is only safe to do so when the lights are green, and there is a “Walk” or green hand signal displayed. When the hand is a solid red, it is no longer safe to cross.
Earbud should not be worn when walking, as everyone should be paying attention to their surroundings. Likewise, it is best to avoid texting while walking, just as no one should text while driving.
It is also a good idea for parent’s to plan their child’s route with them before the first day of school. This will allow children to notice where crosswalks and crossing guards are located, and give the child clearer instructions on where to go.
It is important everyone on the roads keeps these safety tips in mind so everyone can have a happy and safe back to school season.