School is back so pedestrian and traffic safety need your attention
By Jennifer Danner
Seattle Police SW Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator
The Seattle Public Schools resume on Wednesday September 4th, and with this date rapidly approaching- the SW Precinct would like to remind our community members about pedestrian and traffic safety. We are committed to the safety of all children, pedestrians and motorists.
Pedestrians must be very mindful of how they are utilizing the street, sidewalks and crosswalks- children should be reminded to be extra cautious when walking to and from school. Motorists and cyclists must pay attention to traffic conditions and all pedestrians. The most important overall advice for any kind of pedestrian and traffic safety is PAY ATTENTION!! Drivers, please be aware that with school back in session in the next few weeks, children will be walking to and from schools and transit stops. As autumn approaches- there will be less daylight; please pay extra attention, as children may be out early in the morning/late in the evening and may be more difficult to see.
Some important pedestrian safety tips include: plan your route to avoid uninhabited area (including parks, parking lots, garages and alleys), pick routes with good lighting and clear visibility, look both ways before crossing the street, only cross street at street corners or marked crosswalks or intersections, give drivers ample time to stop prior to you entering the crosswalk, pedestrians should make eye contact with drivers when crossing the street- to ensure they have been seen, always walk on the sidewalk- if there is no sidewalk, always walk facing traffic, wear bright/light colored or reflective clothing at night so drivers can see you and remember that telephone poles, utility boxes and parked vehicles can block an on-coming driver’s ability to see pedestrians.
A few crucial safety suggestions related specifically to children include: teach children at an early age to look left, right and left again before crossing the street- then remind them to continue looking until safely across, teach kids to phones, headphones and devices down when crossing the street (it is particularly important to reinforce this message with teenagers), children under 10 years old need to cross the street with an adult- every child is different but developmentally, most children are unable to judge the speed and distance of oncoming cars until about age 10, be a good role model- set a good example by putting your phone, headphones and devices down when walking across the street.
Some important driver awareness safety tips include: pay attention to and abide by all speed limits, watch your speed when entering school zones (speeding in a school zone is a $234 ticket), be watchful around schools and bus stops for children running into the street, watch for children entering the street from behind buses or running to catch a bus, keep in mind that pedestrians have the right of way in all intersections- whether in a marked crosswalk or not, always look and yield for pedestrians when making turns at intersections, always pull to the right and slow or stop to allow emergency vehicles to go by (emergency vehicles will have red and/or blue lights), do not drive with distractions (cell phone, eating, drinking, putting on make-up, etc.)- using a cellphone while driving is a $136 ticket- unless it is hands-free, do not allow passengers to interfere with your driving, be aware of weather conditions, know your surroundings and always have ample driving time- try not to be in a rush- a patient driver is a safe driver. Please also keep in mind that school buses now have enforcement cameras in their ‘stop’ paddles that capture individuals driving around them.
Below you will find my contact information, including email address and phone numbers. Keep an eye out for my newsletter next month, which will again focus on a specific crime/safety issue and include important prevention techniques. Below you will also find upcoming event in the SW Precinct in the next month, as well as other resources- such as the Seattle Police non-emergency phone number, the link for our online-reporting system and the link for how to ‘thank an SPD employee’.
Contact me with questions, concerns, to request my presence at a future meeting, to discuss Block Watch, to request a free safety/security assessment of your home or business and/or if you are interested in free firearm cable locks or vehicle clubs. Please also contact me directly if you would like information about our new Paws on Patrol program, launching in September!!
Email address: Jennifer.Danner@seattle.gov
Desk phone number: (206) 256-6820
Work cell phone number: (206) 471-2849
Upcoming events in SW Precinct-
- West Seattle Crime Prevention Council Meeting
- Tuesday September 17th, 7pm- 8:30pm, at the SW Precinct Community Meeting Room (2300 SW Webster St.)
- SW Precinct Paws on Patrol Launch Event
- Saturday September 21st, 10am- 12noon, at the SW Precinct Community Meeting Room (2300 SW Webster St.)
- West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network Meeting
- Tuesday September 24th, 6:30pm- 8:30pm, at the SW Precinct Community Meeting Room (2300 SW Webster St.)
- Seattle Police Department Non-Emergency Number: (206) 625-5011
- Seattle Police Department’s Website: http://www.seattle.gov/police/
- Seattle Police Department’s Online Crime Reporting: https://www.seattle.gov/police/need-help/online-reporting
- Seattle Police Department’s ‘Thank An Employee’: https://www.seattle.gov/police/about-us/contact-us/thank-an-employee
- Contact information for other SPD Crime Prevention Coordinators: