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3/26/21blog post

How did the chicken cross the road?...

10 safety tips for crosswalks

At a crosswalk! You may remember the old joke, why did the chicken cross the road. Well, now we want to focus on how the chicken crossed the road safely! chicken using a crosswalk cartoon image

Dayton Children’s, Dayton Public Schools, the City of Dayton and the Ohio Department of Transportation have been busy installing new crosswalks to make sure children are able to safely cross the road. This past year the City of Dayton installed over 100 crosswalks near Dayton Public Schools.  

In 2020, Dayton Children’s emergency department saw over 700 injuries related to biking and walking, many of these injuries were in intersections. “The goal of these new crosswalks is to make it easier to walk from place to place throughout the city, especially near schools. We also want to make sure everyone is safe as they walk in Dayton,” says Abbey Pettiford, injury prevention coordinator at Dayton Children’s hospital.

Here are some tips to make sure everyone in the family knows how to use the crosswalk safely:

  • Be careful when you approach the crosswalk, you will see a countdown signal. Press the button and enter the crosswalk when the "walking person" walk signal appears.  
  • If you haven't started crossing, don't cross if you do not see the "go" signal. 
  • Teach kids at an early age to look left, right and left again before crossing the street. Then remind them to continue looking until safely across.
  • It’s always best to walk on sidewalks or paths and cross at street corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. 
  • Teach kids to make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street.
  • Children younger than 10 need to cross the street with an adult. Every child is different, but developmentally, most kids are unable to judge the speed and distance of oncoming cars until agelight at a crosswalk telling person to walk 10.
  • Teach kids not to run or dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
  • Encourage kids to be alert for cars that are turning or backing up.
  • If kids are walking when it’s dark out, teach them to be especially alert and make sure they are visible to drivers. Have them wear light- or brightly colored clothing and reflective gear. 
  • Teach kids to put phones, headphones and devices down when crossing the street.

“We encourage you and your family to try out these new crosswalks on your way to and from school! Walking and biking to school is a great way to get your exercise in and these new crosswalks will help make your commute safer,” says Pettiford. This project is made possible by funding from the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School grant. Learn more about Ohio’s Safe Routes to School program here.