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Mark Bello
Mark Bello
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Time for Motorists to Brush Up on Back-to-School Safety

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A pedestrian sustained serious injuries when he was hit by a vehicle while walking in a crosswalk. According to police, driver was making a left turn and failed to yield the right-of-way to the pedestrian. The victim was hospitalized for serious injuries, but is in stable condition.

As most kids are in their last days of summer before school will be back in session, this accident is a reminder for all drivers. Many kids will be excited to return to school and be back with their friends that they aren’t always paying attention to their surroundings. They may not always use the crosswalk or intersection. No matter the situation, drivers should be extra cautious when approaching bus stops, school zones and crosswalks, and while driving through parking lots.

Here are a few reminders what to do — and not to do.

  • Pay attention and yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and at intersections, be prepared to stop.
  • Never pass another vehicle that has stopped or is slowing down at a crosswalk.
  • Don’t block the crosswalk, whether stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn. By forcing pedestrians around your vehicle, you could be sending them into the path of moving traffic.
  • When entering a school zone, be sure to slow down and obey all traffic laws. Remember the speed limit in a school zone is reduced to 20 mph when the amber lights are flashing.
  • Watch out for school crossing guards and obey their signals.
  • Never pass other vehicles while driving in a school zone.
  • Always stop for school buses that are loading or unloading children. When a school bus stops with its red brake lights flashing and/or its stop sign raised, you must stop from either direction.
  • Never assume the pedestrian sees (or hears) you.
  • Always expect the unexpected. Keep an eye out for children walking in the street, especially where there are no sidewalks, or those near bus stops who may dart into the street without looking out for traffic.
  • Avoid all distractions especially using a cell phone.

Pedestrians can help, too.

  • Cross the street only at intersections or marked crosswalks. Follow crosswalk signs/signals and do not cross when the sign reads “Do Not Walk,” even if there is not oncoming traffic
  • Do not cross in the middle of a street or between cars; if you are getting off a bus, wait until the bus has moved away before checking for traffic.
  • Always walk, never run across intersections.
  • Avoid walking on roads without sidewalks and crosswalks, but if you must, walk facing traffic
  • Always look both ways before crossing the street – even if it is not a busy intersection. Continuously watch for traffic as you cross.
  • If you go to or from school when it is dark outside, wear reflective or bright clothing so drivers can easily identify you; cross near a light

At the end of the day, if we all work together, we can ensure children nationwide will remain safe on their way to and from school.

Mark Bello is the CEO and General Counsel of Lawsuit Financial Corporation, a pro-justice lawsuit funding company.