The Star-Herald

Help us keep kids safe this summer

Summer is finally here. Over the next few days, hundreds of area kids will begin taking part in dozens of summer programs held both indoor and outdoor. This transition from school to summer increases pedestrian traffic several times over and requires drivers and pedestrians to be extra attentive to ensure everyone’s safety.

Believe it or not, kids don’t always do what is expected. Traffic laws don’t typically factor into their decision making when riding their bike to baseball or when meeting a friend at the playground. Kids may enter into the street regardless of a crosswalk and often times without looking. As drivers, we need to expect the unexpected, slow down and be extra cautious when we see kids or when driving near areas frequented by children. Even when encountering pedestrians who are not at a designated crosswalk, drivers should stop and permit them to cross. The sooner they are away from the street or parking lot, the safer they are.   

Parking areas can prove particularly treacherous for drivers and pedestrians alike. An increased number of vehicles and pedestrians together, in a confined space, with limited visibility can easily result in an accident. Caution and common sense will go a long way.

Of course, avoiding an accident is not just on the driver. The kids need to use their heads as well. As parents we need to remind our kids to be safe around vehicles. Some good tips would include: stop, look and listen prior to crossing the street; when encountering a vehicle, make eye contact with the driver before crossing; cross at designated crosswalks only; be on the lookout for vehicles backing up and avoid the temptation of a shortcut by cutting through a parking lot. These are simple rules that sometimes are forgotten.   

Let’s have everyone do their part to ensure a safe summer. Whether driving or walking, be sure to slow down, be on the lookout and use a little extra caution.

For questions, comments or to learn more about the Presque Isle Recreation Department, please call 764-2545, email me at cbeaulieu@presqueisleme.us, visit us online at www.pirec.org or check us out on Facebook.

Chris Beaulieu is director of Presque Isle Recreation & Parks. He can be reached at 764-2545 or via email at cbeaulieu@presqueisleme.us.

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