By Chief Don Hutson
The Riverton community is once again bustling with activity as another school year is well underway. This dramatic change in traffic patterns and pedestrian activity causes all of us concern about the well-being of our children as they travel to and from school. I believe we would all agree that obedience to the reduced speed limit in school zones is of critical importance to ensure the safety of children crossing streets near our schools. I would add it would be prudent to reduce our speed on all roadways in the city as children have been known to cross the streets, even outside of designated school zones. We have had officers conducting traffic enforcement throughout the city to remind the motoring public of our commitment to keep kids safe.
Another area of concern is the area immediately surrounding crosswalks throughout our city. The practice of parents pulling over to the side of the road near a crosswalk and letting their child out to walk the short distance in order to avoid traffic in the school parking lot can cause visibility issues at our crosswalks. Parking, stopping, or standing, even if you are only stopped momentarily to pick up or drop off, is illegal and can create an unnecessary risk for the children crossing the street. It is critically important to keep the crosswalk area clear to allow cars traveling down the road the visibility to see children as they are leaving the sidewalk toward the roadway, rather than as they are entering the roadway.
Please be aware of this issue as you are dropping off or picking up your children from school. Try to find a spot to pull off the road away from any crosswalks or take the time to pull into the school parking lot to keep the roadway clear and less chaotic during drop off and pick up times.
Lastly, our crossing guards are dedicated professionals who are passionate about keeping our children safe as they are walking to school. Please be extra-vigilant as you approach crosswalks monitored by crossing guards, especially those in vehicles making turns as they often approach the crosswalks from a different angle.
I look forward to another banner school year in Riverton and I thank you in advance for helping us keep our kids safe.