Slow down: back to school means sharing the road

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Categories: Injury and Violence Prevention

Slow down: back to school means sharing the road

BISMARCK, N.D. – As children are heading back to school, the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) is reminding North Dakotans to pay attention to pedestrians. Drivers should diligently watch for children who may dart out between cars or cross the street without looking.

“Staying alert and slowing down goes a long way in preventing unnecessary tragedy,” said Mandy Slag, Injury Prevention Program director at the NDDOH. “Together, we can all help ensure our children are safe.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children younger than 10 always walk with an adult and walking to school with children is not only good exercise, but a great opportunity to teach them about pedestrian safety.

Follow these walking tips to stay safe:  

  • Always walk across the street, never run.
  • Follow the rules of the road, obey all traffic signs and signals.
  • Never dart out into the street between parked cars.
  • Cross streets only at intersections and crosswalks. Look left, then right, and left again before crossing the street, making eye contract with drivers to make sure they see you. Continue looking both ways as you cross the street.
  • When walking on sidewalks and paths, face the flow of traffic.
  • At signals, begin walking only when the “WALK” signal is showing.  Finish crossing even when the signal flashes “DON'T WALK.” 
  • Drivers should be aware of pedestrian traffic and can take the following measures:
  • Look for pedestrians at all intersections: signals, stop signs and roundabouts.
  • Stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk. There is a crosswalk at the intersection of any two streets, whether marked or not. In North Dakota, the pedestrian has the right-of-way at the crosswalk.
  • Look for pedestrians when turning right at a red light or left across oncoming lanes of traffic.
  • Use caution when passing another vehicle stopped at an intersection; they may be stopped for a pedestrian you can't see.
  • Obey all traffic laws, especially posted speed limits in school zones.
  • Stay alert! Avoid distractions when you're driving, like eating or using a cell phone. 

    For more information on pedestrian safety, visit


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