Media Contact: Cynthia Harris
Walnut Creek, CA, August 23, 2011
For the 2011-2012 school year, AAA reminds motorists to watch out for children, drive slowly and take notice of speed limits in school zones.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at 25 miles is nearly two-thirds less likely to be killed as compared to a pedestrian struck by one traveling just 10 miles per hour faster.
“School zone speed limits are in place to save lives,” explained AAA Northern California spokesperson Cynthia Harris. “Motorists need to be especially vigilant during the morning and afternoon hours when school children are walking to and from school.”
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s most recent study shows that as many as two-thirds of drivers speed in school zones. Many motorists fail to yield to pedestrians when entering a school driveway or jaywalking across busy streets with their kids in tow. AAA recommends that parents taking kids to and from school not put them at risk and securely fasten them with a seat belt, car seat, or booster seat.
AAA’s School’s Open – Drive Carefully campaign was launched in 1946 to help reduce number of school-related pedestrian injuries and fatalities. In addition to slowing down, AAA offers the following advice for motorist to keep children safe as they navigate their way through school zones:
• Ditch distractions. Research shows that taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles your chances of crashing.
• Stay alert. Don’t rush into and out of driveways. Expect pedestrians on the sidewalk, especially around schools and in neighborhoods.
• Watch for bikes. Children on bicycles are often unpredictable; expect the unexpected.
• Brake for busses. It may be tempting to drive around a stopped school bus, but not only is it dangerous, it’s against the law.
• Plan ahead. Leave early for your destination and build in extra time for congestion. If possible, modify your route to avoid school zones.
• Look for AAA School Safety Patrollers. With more than 600,000 AAA School Safety Patrollers at 31,000 schools across the country, they are a sure sign you’re approaching a school zone.
For more back-to-school safety tips, advice, and practices, visit AAA.com/childsafety.
AAA Northern California offers a wide array of automotive, travel, insurance, DMV, financial services and consumer discounts to over 4.5 million members. AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers since it was founded more than 100 years ago.
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