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As classes resume, police are reminding drivers to be aware of their surroundings

The greatest safety threat children face today is motor vehicle accidents, and that threat escalates when kids are in school.
Credit: WQAD

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — Rock Island Police Department Chief Richard Landi would like to offer some tips to enhance the safety of children in our community as they go back to school this month. The greatest safety threat children face today is motor vehicle accidents, and that threat escalates when kids are in school.

RIPD gave some reasons why children are more vulnerable:

  • They are small and less visible to motorists.
  • It’s more difficult for children to judge traffic situations because their peripheral vision is one-third narrower than an adult’s.
  • Children do not always possess the capability to make sound judgments.
  • Children can be easily distracted, especially when around other children.
  • Personal music devices reduce the ability to hear traffic sounds.

Children are not adults, and it is up to drivers to compensate for their possible lack of awareness and to make sound and safe decisions while driving. 

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RIPD urges motorists to follow these safety tips to help protect children:

  • Slow down near schools and in residential areas - slower speeds buy reaction and stopping time for the driver.
  • Drive with your headlights on - even during the day - so children and other drivers can see you. Illinois law requires the use of headlights while windshield wipers are operating.
  • Look for clues such as School Zone signs, bicycles, and playgrounds that indicate children could be in the area.
  • Scan between parked cars and other objects for signs of children. If you see a ball roll onto the street, rest assured a child could be close behind.
  • Practice extra caution in bad weather.
  • Always stop for school buses that are loading or unloading students. Even when police are not present, school bus drivers may report the violation of passing the bus when the stop arm is extended.

In order to enhance safety and encourage speed reduction awareness around schools, Rock Island Police will be conducting special speed enforcement laws in school zone areas. This includes officers enforcing laws pertaining to the use of cell phones. 

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