School’s out – keep an eye out for children

June 09, 2010 06:00 am

The school year ends today and students are now footloose and fancy free. That means motorists should be especially wary of children walking or riding their bicycles and skateboards in areas different from those they normally frequent.

Striking someone with their car is the last thing a driver wants to experience. Yet, it happens throughout Oregon every year, particularly during summer.

The change in our children’s traveling habits means they will be going to and from parks, playgrounds, shopping centers, stores, the swimming pool and other places where motorists have not seen much pedestrian traffic during the last nine months.

Motorists should also continue to watch out for children in and around school zones, as children will still be using the recreational facilities at local school campuses.

Drivers should expect the unexpected from children, who sometimes do unpredictable or unwise things. As adults, we should be aware of this and drive carefully, anticipating kids running into the street after a stray ball or crossing against the traffic signal.

At the same time, parents and caretakers of our children should be extra vigilant in educating them about pedestrian and traffic safety.

The Pilot congratulates those parents who have already enrolled their children in Safety City, a child safety program sponsored each summer by the Brookings Police Department. The program is for students entering kindergarten in the fall. Space is still open for this summer’s Safety City class. Call the Brookings Police Department at (541) 469-3118 to register.

Parents’ commitment to child safety, Safety City and the vigilance of other drivers should ensure that no Brookings-Harbor child becomes a traffic fatality statistic.