AAA Calls for Caution as Kids Head Back to School - AAA Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS (August 23, 2016) AAA urges motorists to slow down and stay alert in neighborhoods and school zones, and to be especially vigilant for pedestrians during before- and after-school hours. The afternoon hours are particularly dangerous for walking children – over the last decade, nearly one-third of child pedestrian fatalities occurred between 3 and 7 p.m.

About half of Hennepin County schools will be open on Monday, August 29th (Minneapolis, Edina, and Hopkins Public Schools, grades 1-12). The remaining schools will open on Tuesday, September 6th (Bloomington, Minnetonka, and Wayzata Public Schools grades 1-12).

Mike Torkelson, Driving School Instructor, AAA Minneapolis: “As a bus driver and a driving school instructor, I know how energetic kids can be and how excited they can get when they’re starting a new grade or at a new school. We work to teach bus safety to students in Hennepin County who, even if they don’t use a bus to get to school, will likely ride on one for a field trip at some point. It’s important to remember to keep clear of the ‘Danger Zone’ around the bus to make sure you’re away from the tires and keep out of the driver’s blind spot.”

Rod Shilkrot, Membership and Marketing Vice President, AAA Minneapolis: “AAA is proud to have campaigned for school zone safety for 70 years. Our Safety Patrol program is going strong in 170 schools across Hennepin County. Our goals, as always, are to increase driver and pedestrian education to prevent accidents on the roads.”

Pat Stacken, Safety Patrol Advisor, Alice Smith Elementary: “When I train crossing guards, at the beginning of the school year, we go through procedures they will use when crossing students in crosswalks.  One very important word is ‘alert.’  Everyone needs to be ‘alert.’ It applies to crossing guards, students, parent drivers, bus drivers, everyone! We all need to have our eyes and ears open all the time!”

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