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Archive for Saturday, October 9, 2004

Safe Kids Campaign, transportation officials to assess intersections

October 9, 2004

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— Drivers and those who oversee and maintain roadways aren't doing all they can to keep young pedestrians safe, according to the National Safe Kids Campaign.

The nonprofit organization dedicated to prevention of unintentional childhood injury offers this new research on hazardous intersections:

Nearly nine out of 10 intersections studied put students at risk as they walk to school. The four primary dangers at intersections with traffic lights were drivers who fail to stop or stop and then turn illegally; crosswalks in poor condition or not present at all; posted speed limits of 35 miles per hour or more; and curb ramps that are missing or are outside the crosswalk.

Fifty-two Safe Kids coalitions representing 35 states and Washington collected data at 104 intersections and 208 crosswalks, and observed 3,640 vehicles for its report called "Kids at the Crossroads."

"Teaching children pedestrian safety is a great start, but it's simply not enough," says Dr. Martin Eichelberger, president and CEO of the National Safe Kids Campaign and director of Emergency Trauma and Burn Services at Children's National Medical Center in Washington.

"We know that children under 10 are particularly vulnerable because kids can't fully comprehend hazardous conditions at intersections," he says.

For the fifth consecutive year, Safe Kids is teaming with FedEx workers, transportation and law enforcement officials and other safety advocates for the Walk This Way initiative. They'll assess pedestrian conditions in local communities, conduct media campaigns to help drivers learn about safe behavior and encourage parents to walk or bike with their children to school.

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