LINGLE – Students at Lingle-Fort Laramie (LFL) Elementary School learned about traffic safety Wednesday morning.
“Look both ways to make sure there are no cars,” Police Chief Endra Andrews told the students. “Make sure to keep between the yellow lines when crossing.”
Andrews showed the students the yellow lines on 3rd Street, east of Reid Avenue, and expressed the importance of looking both ways before crossing. She also encouraged the students to make eye contact with the drivers to ensure the students were seen before crossing but cautioned that making eye contact with the driver is not always enough.
“Make sure they see you, and if they don’t, wait before crossing the street,” Andrews said.
Sheila Bever, a teacher at LFL Elementary School, informed students of safety concerns at the parent’s loop bus stop in front of the school.
“Stay seated in the bus until it comes to a complete stop,” Bever said. “When you exit the bus, walk and don’t run.”
Bever told the students to stay out of the bus loop before and after school and stay on the sidewalk to prevent accidents.
Andrews discussed traffic concerns at the elementary school during the Lingle Town Council meeting on Aug. 17.
She and Councilman Micah Foster pointed out the intersection’s obscure layout and the signage obstructions.
The Guide went to the intersection around 7:30 a.m. and found the intersection was challenging to see clearly as the sun was lower in the sky, creating a vision issue. Additionally, the stop sign on the southwest corner of 3rd Street and Reid Avenue is obstructed by trees and vehicles. A vehicle parked near the intersection precluded the stop sign from being seen until one was within 60 feet of the intersection.
At 20 mph, a vehicle drives 60 feet in 2.05 seconds. The average reaction time of a human is around 1.5 to 2 seconds; 0.75 seconds to recognize a stimulus (a child running across the street) and 0.75 seconds to react to the stimulus (realizing the child running across the street and applying the brakes).
The Guide, along with Lingle-Fort Laramie schools, Lingle Town Council and Lingle Police Department, asks everyone to be aware of when school is in session and drive with due regard for the safety of everyone present. Slowing down, putting away distractions (cell phones, breakfast, etc.) and paying careful attention to children crossing the street will help ensure the safety of the youth.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides additional considerations for pedestrians and drivers who are near crosswalks and schools:
• Follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals.
• Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available.
• If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.
• Cross streets at crosswalks or intersections. Look for cars in all directions, including those turning left or right.
• If a crosswalk or intersection is not available, locate a well-lit area where you have the best view of traffic. Wait for a gap in traffic that allows enough time to cross safely; continue watching for traffic as you cross.
• Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways or backing up in parking lots.
• Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking; they impair your abilities and your judgment.
• Embrace walking as a healthy form of transportation - get up, get out and get moving.
• Look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times.
• Use extra caution when driving in hard-to-see conditions, such as nighttime or bad weather.
• Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or otherwise entering a crosswalk.
• Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop well back from the crosswalk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see crossing pedestrians so they can stop too.
• Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing where you can’t see.
• Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
• Follow the speed limit, especially around people on the street, in school zones and in neighborhoods where children are present.
• Be extra cautious when backing up and look for pedestrians.
To learn more about pedestrian safety, visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/pedestrian-safety.