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Our View: Traffic safety key as school resumes

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014 11:18 p.m. CDT

A crash involving a Sycamore boy and a passing pickup truck last week was a scary story that could have had a worse ending.

Police said the driver was not at fault in the crash, which took place when the skateboarder disregarded a stop sign and rolled into the intersection as the vehicle was passing through.

Police said the boy’s injuries were not life threatening, but he was taken by helicopter to Rockford Memorial Hospital. The driver was not ticketed, but no doubt was unsettled by what happened.

We hope that the boy makes a full recovery and that all those involved are able to move on. We also hope that this story is not repeated in DeKalb County as schoolchildren resume making their daily trips to school.

Although the ringing of school bells will cause some parents to breathe a sigh of relief, it also means drivers must once again be on the lookout for school buses on the roads and students walking home, and observing posted school zone speed limits.

Under Illinois law, passing a school bus with its stop arm extended and red lights flashing will cost drivers their license for three months if they are convicted, along with a fine of at least $150.

Speeding in a school zone also carries a $150 penalty, along with a $50 fine to be paid to the school district for student safety activities, according to the Illinois Vehicle Code.

Drivers also should remember that state law requires buses to stop at all railroad crossings. 

The onus isn’t strictly on motorists to ensure that children get to school safely, however. Parents whose children walk or ride bicycles to school should talk to their kids about only crossing the street at crosswalks, looking both ways before crossing, and wearing a helmet if they’re bicycling.

Young children should walk to school with an adult, and older children should walk with a buddy whenever possible, and children of any age should never play by pushing or shoving one another near the roadway.

Drivers, parents and police can all do their part in making sure that children arrive at school safe and ready to learn.

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