Expert: Flashing ‘school zone’ signs can save lives

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — All this week, Eyewitness News is helping parents get back into the swing of things as a new school year approaches.

Back to school means buses on the road and kids in the crosswalk.

And this year, Rhode Island residents will see plenty of flashing “school zone” signs.

According to the Transportation Research Board, more than 100 children are killed every year while walking to and from school. And another 25,000 are injured.

“Even when school isn’t in session, be aware that sometimes those school zone signs really do indicate the speed you should travel because school might be over but that’s a place that kids go,” said John Paul, Senior Manager of Traffic Safety at AAA Northeast.

According to AAA, a child hit by a vehicle traveling at 30 mph is nearly 66-percent more likely to be killed compared to a car going 20 mph.

“The difference between a crash at 30 mph versus a crash happening at 20 or 15 mph — besides the safety, is the ability of you to control your car just goes up exponentially,” said Paul.

Another way to help kids in safe zones is to eliminate distractions inside the car, including electronic devices. Research shows that taking your eyes off the road for two seconds doubles your chances of crashing.

Most fatal child pedestrian accidents occur between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.


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