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Safety Tips for Pedestrians

The AAA School Safety Patrol offers ideas for staying safe where cars and foot traffic mix.

school safety patrollers at South San Francisco's Martin Elementary, picture
Photo credit
Photo: James Bueti
Photo caption
Patrollers from Martin Elementary.

When it comes to pedestrian safety, AAA walks the walk. Consider the School Safety Patrol, a national program that teaches student volunteers to help their peers get to and from school safely.

Since its inception in 1920, the program has played a vital role in reducing casualty rates among children ages 5 to 14. It helps save lives and costs schools nothing.

In Northern California, Nevada, and Utah, more than 14,000 fourth through eighth graders participate in the program, receiving traffic safety and leadership training and performing volunteer duties under adult supervision.

"Safety is everyone's responsibility," says School Safety Patrol Advisor Deborah Carlino of Martin Elementary in South San Francisco. Her student patrollers won the 2016 AAA Safety Patrol Lifesaving Medal for their actions, which saved a life.

In the spirit of safety, here are tips for pedestrians and motorists.

KEEP ALERT Earbuds out, eyes off your phone. Both drivers and walkers need to look and listen for vehicle traffic.

STAY VISIBLE Pedestrians should wear light-colored or reflective clothing at dawn and dusk and after dark. Cross streets in well-lit areas, and try to make eye contact with drivers to be sure they've seen you.

FOLLOW THE RULES Walk on sidewalks and use crosswalks whenever possible. Obey traffic signs and signals. Avoid blind curves, and never assume a driver will give you the right-of-way.

BE A SAFE DRIVER Follow posted speed limits. Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, and don't pass other vehicles stopped near them. Watch out for children, who may appear unexpectedly.

This article was first published in Spring 2017. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

Learn more about the AAA School Safety Patrol and how you or your child can get involved.