International Walk to School Day: Dean Morgan Junior High targeted for pedestrian safety

By The Pulse Oct 7, 2014

In Wyoming, we joke that there are two seasons: winter and construction.  This year, Casperites have suffered their share of detours.

The construction process affects more than just our morning commutes.  Dean Morgan Middle School in particular has noticed an increase of rushed morning traffic.  After contacting the risk manager for the Natrona County School District, Dean Morgan was identified as having the most complaints regarding driving through the area.  The administrative manager at the school confirmed this by telling me that his crossing guard has near misses in traffic on a daily basis.  He reported that one truck even drove around her when she entered the cross walk with a stop sign raised.

It is easy to go on “auto-pilot” when driving the same route every morning, but it’s important to remember to stay alert, watch for pedestrians and eliminate any distractions in your vehicle.

Safe Kids of Central Wyoming will join Dean Morgan Middle School students and FedEx volunteers on Wednesday, Oct. 8, to raise awareness about pedestrian safety on International Walk to School Day. More than 250,000 children across the United States will participate in the annual event to learn to recognize risks and understand safe walking behaviors.

Unintentional pedestrian injuries are the fifth-leading cause of injury-related death in the United States for children ages 5 to 19.  Teenagers are now at the greatest risk. Teens have a death rate twice that of younger children and account for half of all child pedestrian deaths.

Some things walking teens should remember:

  • Put down phones and take headphones off when crossing the street.  You need to be alert and aware of any potential dangers.
  • Be aware of others who may be distracted.  Make eye contact with drivers before crossing.
  • Be especially alert when it’s dark out, and make sure you’re visible to drivers.
  • Cross at a traffic signal or crosswalk, when possible, and always use a sidewalk or walking path when available.

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