Pedestrian accidents statewide are on the decline, according to the Kansas Department of Transportation, and that’s great news for kids who walk to school and for those trying to keep them safe.
In 2008 there were 432 pedestrian accidents resulting in injury or death, compared with 613 just 10 years prior. Of those incidents in 2008, 162 involved people under age 19, four resulting in death, KDOT said.
Safe Kids Douglas County, a local organization aimed at injury prevention in youth, recently paired up with a group of Eudora High School students to educate young people about the importance of safety on the streets. A $3,000 dollar federal transportation grant to Sunflower School helped bring that lesson to the second-grade classrooms Thursday morning.
“Some people, especially if they don’t have kids or didn’t ever walk to school themselves, they don’t know that some kids may not be paying attention,” Eudora High School senior Alexandria Mott said.
The Eudora group, known as T4, took children on an adventure to and from school — with a slight African detour. Along the way, students encountered several dangerous situations involving street crossings, common street signs and, of course, lions and elephants.
“They’ll remember jumping up and running from a lion and things like that for a lifetime, and meanwhile we’ve snuck in that information,” said Amerika Grewal, a parent of a Sunflower student.
The Eudora high school students also worked with Pinckney School students on Thursday and plan to bring the safety lesson to other area elementary schools.
Safe Kids Douglas County urged more children to walk to school, if possible, saying it’s great exercise, can be very safe and also provide a unique daily adventure.