In less than a week’s time, the Rapid City Police Department has investigated two incidents in which a child being dropped off for school has been struck by a vehicle in the street. In both cases the child was crossing the roadway outside of a crosswalk. The Rapid City Area School District and local law enforcement would like to remind parents and students about the following safety practices.
Tips for Pedestrians:
- Always use crosswalks. It might seem like a hassle to walk halfway down the block to use a crosswalk, but it could prevent a serious accident.
- If a crosswalk is not available, look both ways and make sure the roadway is clear before attempting to cross the street.
- 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.
With school in session, the RCPD will continue to address traffic and crosswalk violations with regular patrols through Rapid City’s school zones. Local law enforcement and the Rapid City Area School District are committed to the safety of our children.