Drivers And Children Need To Watch For Each Other

We've seen it happen too many times already...school is just back in session and two children have been hit by cars while walking to or from school.

The areas around schools and other places where children are walking are becoming dangerous places, especially when drivers aren't paying close attention.

Nine-year-old Grant Stevens was hit by a car last Wednesday while walking home from school.

Children on foot and school zones have become a dangerous mix.

Grant is lucky, he suffered a broke arm and some cuts, but 12-year-old Dakota Hamm was hurt more severely.

Dakota was hit at 96th and Mockingbird by an SUV.

gt. doug klein/omaha traffic division
“One incident in particular was basically a vision obstruction,” Sgt. Doug Klein of the Omaha Police Department's
Traffic Division said. “Several other vehicles were blocking the view of the driver to the pedestrian and the pedestrian to the driver. “

Due to their height, it is difficult for children to see around an SUV and when a driver pulls out, it's very difficult to see. Sgt. Klein says that's when drivers need to be much more aware.

Speed in near schools is also a concern although not determining factors in either incident last week.

I'm thinking that we need to drive slowly and watch for them because they aren't necessarily going to be watching for us,” Janet Rawson of Omaha said.

“What is it, up to age ten where children are very likely to dart out, they don't have the judgement yet to understand? It has to be the adults who pay attention.” Kathy Negri said.

“Keep an extra eye out, there may be kids crossing the street,” Sgt. Klein said. “And for pedestrians and kids, take your time crossing the street and use the cross walk signals.”

In addition, message boards on the interstate remind us of just how dangerous school zones can be.

Sgt. Klein said it's best if both drivers and pedestrians take that little bit of extra time to make sure the intersection is clear before proceeding.


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