Police provide back to school safety tips for walkers, bicyclist - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Police provide back to school safety tips for walkers, bicyclists, drivers

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VERONA (WKOW) – Police say a new school year brings an increase in traffic around school zones.

Verona Police Sgt. Jesse Christensen says the boost in drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists near area schools serves as a good reminder to all of us to “re-learn” some basic safety skills often forgotten during the slow months of summer.

Christensen says students who walk or bike to school should work out a preferred route to and from the building that they share with their parents. He says students should stick to that same route each day.

“For some reason, if that child does not make it to school, that's the first route we're going to check as officers,” Christensen says. 

He also says students who walk or bike to school should wear lighter colored clothing. Christensen says that's especially important during the winter months when the daylight hours are shorter.

Christensen also says drivers have an obligation to be more aware of the increased foot traffic.

“Just being aware of your surroundings and being understanding that some kids may be excited to get to school, or to get home from school, and they me be darting across an intersection,” Christensen says.

“Dialing it back in terms of the speed you're driving at is the biggest thing,” says crossing guard Bob Zuege, who's stationed outside Country View Elementary in Verona.

Zuege says most drivers tend to obey the speed limit around Country View. But he says pedestrians should still be cautious.

“Always pay attention,” Zuege says “Just pay attention while you're crossing so somebody doesn't speed through.”

“Around those busy crosswalks, we want those pedestrians to come to the crosswalks, obviously stop, look both ways,” Christensen says, “maybe even look both ways twice.”

Christensen also has a couple of tips for bicyclists.

“We always encourage the use of helmets,” he says.

Christensen also says bicyclists should be traveling single file. He also says they should be sure to obey routine traffic laws, like stopping at stop signs.  
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