RCPD, RCAS reminding public to be cautious in school zones

With the start of school on Tuesday, the Rapid City Police Department and Rapid City Area Schools are reminding the public to be cautious of young crosswalkers.

RAPID CITY, S.D. — With Tuesday being the first day of school and with drivers now likely to experience more kids walking to school, the Rapid City Police Department is reminding the public to be cautious and alert around school zones.

Police say that this is the time of year to remind drivers to be cautious by slowing down, following the speed limit and watching out for our younger crosswalkers.

This is also the time of year to start leaving sooner as there will also be more drivers on the road taking their kids to school.

“There’s going to be more people on the road as they take their kids to school, and so just encourage people to plan a little extra time in their morning commute, pack your patience, and then just make sure that you can be exercise good driving behavior as you get to work and and maybe have to deal with, you know, some extra people on the road,” said Brendyn Medina, the Public Information Officer for the Rapid City Police Department.

Medina says that safety is not just solely on the parents.

Students need to be good pedestrians and use crosswalks and if there isn’t one in your area and exercise the proper technique for walking across the street.

“If there’s not one available, things like looking both ways before crossing the street and ensuring that there isn’t traffic coming up on you if you’re going to cross the street, so this is just the time of the year where we want to get that safety message out, and make sure that all of our kiddos have a safe first week of school,” Medina said.

Another difficulty facing drivers now, schools buses with flashing lights, which Medina reminds that is against the law to pass and for those in traffic and wanting to get home, it’s important to keep an eye on your surroundings.

“Another thing that we run into is if you have a crosswalk spanning multiple lanes and you see one car stopped at a crosswalk,” Medina said. “All the other cars should probably take that as a sign that they should slow down, ’cause there might be a pedestrian entering the roadway.”

More tips from Rapid City Area Schools include:

Parents should consider walking their child safely across the street when dropping them off for school.
Tips for Drivers:
· Speed limits are slower in school zones for a reason. Slow down and watch for the high volume of pedestrian traffic in school zones associated with the start of school in the mornings and school release in the afternoons.
· Be aware that there are pedestrians and bicyclists out and about, whether you’re on a busy street or in a residential neighborhood. Slow down and stay alert.
· Stop for pedestrians at intersections and crosswalks. At crosswalks that aren’t controlled by walk signals, state law dictates that drivers must stop for pedestrians entering the crosswalk.
· Never pass another car stopped at a crosswalk. Accidents often happen when one lane of traffic stops for a pedestrian to cross, but the other lanes of traffic don’t.
· As the days get shorter, the morning sun sits lower in the sky. This makes pedestrians even harder to see, and drivers should slow down even more in order to safely operate their car with the bright sun in their eyes.
Categories: Local News, South Dakota News