Here we go again! Youngsters are back to school and I’m laying awake at night thinking about safety. We live between the Snow College Richfield Campus, Richfield High School and Red Hills Middle School. In the morning from about 7:30 and 8:10, we avoid driving as much as humanly possible. Afternoons when school gets out are nearly as wild.
Did you know that in the United States, one pedestrian dies every 1.6 hours, and another is hurt every 7.5 minutes? Those are scary statistics! These pedestrians, including children, mistakenly assume that cars will see them and stop for them. That’s a dangerous (and sometimes deadly) assumption.
Drivers are worried about dropping off, picking up, getting to work on time, and a thousand other things that could be on their mind. Today’s kids in Richfield are concerned with all the same things that you were when you were that age. Unfortunately these young students, whether walking, running, or riding a bike are often not focused on safety. The shortest distance to school sometimes involves cutting across city streets on a diagonal. Occasionally, kids glance up at cars. Drivers, if they see the children, mercifully stop or slow down. It’s like a wild dance. It reminds me of watching Stan Jones dance when he and I were younger. Stan was all over the dance floor. It was entertaining, but dangerous!
Please watch out for the dangers out there, whether you’re a driver or a pedestrian. Teach your kids and grandkids that they are responsible for their own safety. Don’t assume somebody behind a steering wheel is being responsible. It doesn’t matter if you have the right of way if you lose your life!
We want this to be a safe year and a learning one. It’s such a wonderful time of life for these youngsters and it would be tragic indeed to have any one of them hurt or suffering. Drivers, be alert. A Stan Jones dancer could suddenly pop up in front of you.
Mayor David Ogden