Pre-winter weeks pose road risk for kids walking to school, police say

Dark morning hours before Winter Solstice could jeopardize child safety

WEST JORDAN, Utah (ABC4 Utah) - Daylight Saving Time's end means more light in the morning and earlier sunsets, but children walking to school face road risks in the pre-winter weeks, police say. 

Many children in Utah walk to school between the 7 and 8 a.m. In the days leading up to the Winter Solstice, sunrise in the Salt Lake Valley and surrounding areas will happen one minute later each day. By the end of November, the sun won't appear until 7:31 a.m., a busy time for pedestrians and drivers. 

The Utah Dept. of Health says close to one-third of all auto-pedestrian accidents involve children and teens. In 2012, a young man was struck and killed by a truck while walking to school in Salt Lake on a fall morning. 

West Jordan police officer Scott List said the days leading up to winter and beyond bring considerable risk for accidents. 

He says reflective gear and clothing are vital, especially when it's dark while children are walking to school. 

"Evaluate what they are wearing," he said. "See if there is at least one thing that is reflective on them." 

The Utah Dept. of Health also recommends children carry flashlights when they are walking to school in the pre-sunrise hours. There are also crosswalk safety reminders on their website. 

To view a video parents can review with their children about crosswalk safety, click here

 


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