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Drive Carefully - School is Open

Press Release

Contact
Eric J. Guenther
Chief of Police
847-968-3775

For Immediate Release

Mundelein, IL – August 24, 2015 - Schools are now open and the Mundelein Police Department reminds motorists to be particularly cautious and carefully watch for children on their way to and from school.

“It’s up to us to look out for these students because some of the children are not thinking about safety—especially those going to school for the first time,” said Chief Eric Guenther.  “They’re young and are too excited to be aware of traffic dangers to pedestrians.”

Every fall, over 55 million children across the United States head back to school. With 13 percent of those children typically walking or biking to their classes, AAA warns drivers to be especially vigilant for pedestrians before and after school hours. The afternoon hours are particularly dangerous.  In fact, over the last decade, nearly one in four child pedestrian fatalities occurred between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Launched in 1946, AAA’s School’s Open – Drive Carefully awareness campaign was created as a way to help reduce child pedestrian fatalities and injuries. Here are several recommendations from AAA regarding ways drivers can help to keep kids safe:

  • Slow down. Speed limits in school zones are reduced for a reason. A pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at 25 mph is nearly two-thirds less likely to be killed compared to a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling just 10 mph faster.
  • Eliminate distractions. Research shows that taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles your chances of crashing. And children can be quick, crossing the road unexpectedly or emerging suddenly between two parked cars. Reduce risk by not using your cell phone or eating while driving, for example.
  • Watch for bicycles. Children on bikes are often inexperienced, unsteady and unpredictable. Slow down and allow at least three feet of passing distance between your vehicle and a bicyclist. If your child rides a bicycle to school, require that he or she wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet on every ride. Find videos, expert advice and safety tips at ShareTheRoad.AAA.com.
  • Talk to your teen. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, and nearly one in four fatal crashes involving teen drivers occur during the after-school hours of 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Get evidence-based guidance and tips at TeenDriving.AAA.com

Drivers should also note that legislation was enacted that drivers must stop and yield the right-of-way for a pedestrian in a crosswalk.  Additionally, recent legislation also prohibits the use of handheld phones.

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