Street crossing safety theme of this year's 'Walk To School Day'

Wednesday, October 8th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

More than 800 children under the age of 14 die every year while walking across the street. It's a number that could be eliminated if motorists paid more attention to the signs on the road, especially in school zones.

There’s a campaign underway in Tulsa to keep your kids safe. News on 6 reporter Patrina Adger says in 2001, 23 children under the age of 14 were killed while walking to school.

A survey by Tulsa Kids Coalition shows that 7% of drivers ignore the signs posted near school zones and two-thirds of drivers exceeded the posted sped limit during the 30-minute period before and after school.

Wednesday morning, students from Tulsa’s Cooper Elementary school joined members of the Safe Kids Coalition to celebrate Walk this Way: International Walk to School Day. The students learned about pedestrian safety and how to safely cross the street.

Mary Beth Ogle with Tulsa Safe Kids says Tulsa last year had had five children that were hit by cars, two fatally. Ogle says it's important for motorists as well as the children to know how about how to be safe on the streets. “A parent may drop them off and they dart out in traffic. Children under 10 don't have the ability to judge distance and speed of a car and it makes them at risk. And therefore cars can't see children or they are speeding going too fast or they're not stopping at the intersection."

Auto-peds involving children is the second leading cause of death. Children not restrained in a car seat or seatbelt are three times more likely to die.