Shape Your Kids Into Responsible Pedestrians

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Yesterday, we related a report that highlighted the troubling state of pedestrian safety in San Francisco.  That article showed that in the few days since New Year’s Eve, there have already been three deadly accidents in the area, and many people are obviously concerned about this trend.  The police have vowed to issue tickets and various funds are being used to spread awareness about the serious issue.

But San Francisco is far from alone in the state of California in terms of pedestrian safety concerns.  The New York Times recently related how cops in Los Angeles, specifically in the downtown area, were cracking down on pedestrians who errantly crossed the street when it wasn’t time to do so.  Many such persons have complained that time could be better spent, but the cops explained that they wanted to make the bustling downtown area safe and the flow of traffic as productive as it could be, something that can be impeded if pedestrians aren’t careful.

There’s one demographic that is especially susceptible to pedestrian accidents, and that’s children.  Kids can become excitable and dart across the street without looking both ways, and they’re also harder to see.  It’s up to parents to stress to children the need to take the proper precautions while crossing, and to that end, you should consider some of the tips that have been put together by Safe Kids Worldwide.  By showing your kids how to be a responsible pedestrian, you can protect them well into adulthood.

First, make sure that you’re not being hypocritical with what you tell them.  When you tell your children that they are to look both ways and wait until they get a walk signal at the crosswalk, that instruction can be undermined if your children see you blatantly ignoring the very rules you set for yourself.  However, if you stay put until appropriate to do so and minimize distractions, your kids will take note of that and be more likely to behave accordingly.

It’s important to speak to kids early on about the need to put down their phones when they’re walking.  Tell them that they should stand aside, out of the flow of vehicular or foot traffic, if they need to send a text or place a call.  Distracted walking has grown to become a very real problem, and you don’t want your kids contributing to it.

Make sure that kids know to only to cross at appropriate intersections rather than the middle of the street or from between parked cars, where it’s harder for drivers to identify them.  In this way, they remove themselves from a situation that contributes to an alarming number of accidents.