Here’s what you can do as a driver, pedestrian to keep kids safe in school zone crosswalks



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On Nov. 5, a kindergartner was fatally struck by a vehicle in a crosswalk near Lopez Elementary School.

The tragedy prompted parents of Lopez students to call for Poudre School District to hire more paid crossing guards.

“I don’t right at this moment feel safe for my kids anymore,” said Jeremy Jasmann, who has children who attend Lopez Elementary.

PSD leaders responded by initiating an assessment of the district’s crosswalk program and the city’s traffic operations and police department to look at how to increase safety at hundreds of school crosswalks across the city for PSD’s 30,000 students.

You can read more about those efforts in our in-depth look at school zone safety, which is available exclusively to Coloradoan subscribers.

Not a subscriber? You can access this story and other subscriber-only exclusives for less than $10 per month by purchasing a digital subscription today. 

In the meantime, there are also things you can do — as pedestrians and drivers — to keep kids safe and stay safe yourself. 

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Here are tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

What can pedestrians do?

  • Be predictable and obey signs and signals.
  • Whenever possible, cross streets at crosswalks or intersections, where drivers expect pedestrians. Look for cars in all directions, including those turning left or right, and continue to look both ways while you are crossing.
  • Never assume a driver sees you. Make eye contact with drivers as they approach to make sure you are seen.
  • Walk on sidewalks whenever possible.
  • If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.
  • Keep alert at all times; don’t be distracted by electronic devices.

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What should drivers do?

  • Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or otherwise entering a crosswalk.
  • Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop well back from the crosswalk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see the crossing pedestrians so they can stop as well.
  • Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing that you can’t see.
  • Pay special attention to slower speed limits in school zones and in neighborhoods where children are present.

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