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LAPD Provides Tips on Getting to School Safely

With school back in session for the Los Angeles Unified School District, police and school officials want to bring awareness to pedestrians and motorists.

The following information was supplied by the earlier this week at a news conference:

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, about one-half (47 percent) of all school-age pedestrians killed in school transportation-related crashes were between the ages of 5 and 7 years old.

Traditionally, schools in the City of Los Angeles have started at the end of August or beginning of September. This year the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) schools started early on Aug. 14. Normal commuter traffic will not anticipate the large numbers of children making their way to school.  Motorists will not be ready for the increased numbers of pedestrians utilizing the sidewalks and crosswalks in the morning and afternoon. 

Tips for Getting to School Safely

1. Walking — Crossing the Street

  • Walk to school with a group of kids and always have a responsible adult walk with you.
  • Always walk on the sidewalk if one is available.
  • If no sidewalk is available, walk facing the traffic.
  • The safest place to cross is at a street corner or intersection.
  • If you are 10 years old or younger, you need to cross the street with an adult. You should not cross by yourself. Ask an adult to explain to you who can help you cross the street.
  • Before you step off the curb to cross the street, stop and look left, look right, and look left again to see if cars are coming.
  • When no cars are coming, it is safe for you and an adult to cross. But look left-right-left as you do it, and hold the adult’s hand.
  • Always walk when crossing the street. Never run across the street to catch a ball or chase a toy, a friend, or a pet. Darting out in front of a parked car is dangerous. The driver of the car coming down the street can’t see you.
  • Cross at corners and use crosswalks whenever possible; always stay within the lines of the crosswalk.
  • Never go for a walk with a stranger. Only walk with someone who your parents say is okay.

2. Ride Your Bicycle

  • The best and smartest bicycle riders always wear their bicycle helmets. They know that bicycle helmets will keep their heads and brains safe.
  • Ask an adult to make sure that your helmet fits correctly. The helmet should fit low on your forehead so that two fingers fit between it and your eyebrows. Another way to check is to put the helmet on your head and look up. If you can’t see your helmet, it is too far back.
  • To ride safely, you need to know the rules of the road. Do you know what “the rules of the road” are for bicycles? If you don’t, then you should not ride in traffic or without an adult.
  • When you ride your bicycle, wearing a helmet helps to keep you safe. You should also wear bright colors during the day, and right before the sun rises or sets. This makes it easier for drivers to see you, and that helps to keep you safe, too.
  • Practice makes you more skilled at riding your bicycle. The more skilled you are at riding, the less likely you will be to crash. Practice riding skills in an empty parking lot or a place with no traffic. Practice such things as riding in a straight line, looking over your shoulder, signaling with your hands, and starting and stopping.
  • Ride on the right side of the road or trail in a single file line (one bike behind the other) in the same direction as other vehicles and come to a complete stop before crossing streets. Walk your bike on school grounds.  Park and lock your bike in the bike racks.

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