EDITORIAL: With warmer weather, watch for pedestrians

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Remind kids to look both ways before crossing a street

After a long and quite miserable winter, we all welcome the warmer weather: Farmers returned to the fields, homeowners are happy to have a break from shoveling snow and kids wasted no time getting outside to play.

With more children walking or riding their bikes on local streets and sidewalks, it’s important for drivers to watch for them. While that’s something to keep in mind throughout the entire year, now seems a good time for a reminder, especially after a long winter when kids spent most of their time indoors.

Take time at intersections, near playgrounds and in local neighborhoods to make sure a child isn’t crossing the road or playing nearby.

For parents, it’s important to remind your kids to look both ways before crossing the street. Sure, they’ve heard that advice many times, but it’s a crucial lesson worth repeating.

A local UPS driver recently told the Tribune about several close-calls on Powell streets with kids who weren’t paying attention to oncoming traffic. Thankfully, tragedies were averted in those cases, but only because the driver was watching the road carefully.

It’s up to every driver to keep an eye out for pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, animals and other vehicles.

All too often, drivers are looking at their phones instead of the road. In recent weeks, we watched someone speed through a local intersection without yielding — or even looking at other traffic — as she stared down at her phone. Another driver had his phone propped up on the steering wheel, scrolling through the screen as he drove down an alley. These are just two examples; we’re sure readers could tell many of their own stories about distracted drivers on local streets.

Not only is it a common habit, it’s a dangerous one. Each day, eight people in the U.S. are killed and 1,161 are injured in crashes involving a distracted driver, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Whether you’re going 20 mph along Bent Street or 70 mph down the highway, driving always should have your full attention.

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