Crosswalks are a familiar part of our neighborhood streets, but we may not know as much as we think we do about them. To understand how crosswalks work watch
from the NJ Safe Routes to School Resource Center. It provides important things for both drivers and pedestrians to remember in order to make everyone safe. Then try out this activity to apply what you have learned!
A Crosswalk Safety Family Activity
For simplicity's sake, this exercise is directed towards crosswalks located at intersections that do not have a traffic signal. We will be covering those in a future lesson ;-).
1. Choose an intersection in the neighborhood.
2. Identify whether it is a marked or unmarked crosswalk.
3. Remind each other of what a driver and the pedestrian is supposed to do at the crosswalk. This lesson is important to remember for both adults and children!
- Does anyone’s responsibility change at marked crosswalk vs an unmarked one?
- The answer is NO.
- At either type, a driver must stop for a pedestrian and wait until they completely cross the street before proceeding, even when turning.
- A pedestrian must wait for the driver to stop before crossing the street.
4.Go over these steps that children need to take to use a crosswalk safely.
: Identify the proper place to cross the street. Always cross at a crosswalk. Do not dart into the street between parked cars or any other location where a driver may not be expecting you.
: When coming to a crosswalk
LOOK LEFT, RIGHT and LEFT AGAIN
. Students should use their eyes and ears to determine if a car is coming.
: If there is a car, do not assume they will stop for you and step into the street. Do not start crossing until a driver has come to a complete stop.
- Make eye contact with the driver if possible and make sure that they see you and are slowing down to stop. Waving at the driver can help.
- Wait until they have stopped completely before you begin to cross. Some drivers may give you a wave to say it is safe to go.
: Everyone should walk between the lines. If there is not enough room to walk side by side, walk in a line.
: Avoid distraction. With many things to do (play video games, text, listen to music, play tag with friends), it is important that nothing distracts you from being a safe pedestrian. Stay alert and do not get hurt!
: Give the driver a little wave and a smile to show them that you appreciate them stopping for you. Remember to do the same for pedestrians when you can drive!
These steps apply at crosswalks located at mid-block locations too. Children should remember these steps as they walk to the local park, a local store or simply walk around the neighborhood. Try this activity out and let’s make this a safe and happy summer to remember!