Teaching Child Pedestrians Rules of the Road
An estimated 23,000 children are injured in pedestrian
incidents involving motor vehicles each year. When is
comes to practicing safe pedestrian behavior, children
need parents to not only tell them the rules of the road
but show them. The most important thing you can
do to teach your kids safe pedestrian behavior is to practice
it yourself: crossing streets at corners, using traffic
signals and crosswalks whenever possible, and making eye
contact with drivers prior to crossing in front of them.
National SAFE KIDS Campaign recommends the following
to keep your children safe:
* Never allow children under 10 never cross the street
alone. Adult supervision is vital until your child demonstrates
traffic skills and judgment.
* Teach children to recognize and obey all traffic signals
and markings. A flashing "walk" sign is not
an automatic "go" signal. It means a pedestrian
has permission to cross, but must first stop and look
both ways for cars.
* Make sure children look in all directions before crossing
the street. Teach them to stop at the curb or edge of
the road, and to look left, right and left again for
traffic before and while crossing the street.
* Teach children not to enter the street from between
parked cars or from behind bushes or shrubs. Darting
into the street accounts for the majority of child pedestrian
* Teach children to cross the street at a corner or
crosswalk. Make sure children allow plenty of time to
cross. Teach them to walk, not run, across intersections.
Tell children to listen to adult crossing guards or
safety patrols at monitored intersections.
* Make sure children know the safest route to their
destination. Look for the most direct route with the
fewest street crossings. Walk the route with children
until they demonstrate traffic safety awareness. They
should take the same route every time and avoid shortcuts.
* Children should always wear retro-reflective materials
and carry a flashlight if walking at dawn and dusk.
Nearly half of child pedestrian deaths occur between
4 and 8 p.m.
For further information, please visit the National SAFE
KIDS Campaign's website at: http://www.safekids.org