By Airman 1st Class Grace Nichols
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
August marks the end of summer vacation and the start of the new school year. Now in session is the Jacksonville Lighthouse Charter school: Flightline Upper Academy and beginning Monday, Arnold Drive Elementary will open its doors.
Road rules for child safety will be strongly enforced by the 19th Security Forces Squadron at Little Rock Air Force Base.
There is a 15 mph speed zone near the two schools, and school zone safety lights will begin flashing from 7-7:45 a.m. and 2-2:45 p.m. for school dismissal. Crossing guards will be on duty to guide children and direct traffic.
“Speed limits will be strictly enforced by 19th SFS Airmen with zero tolerance,” said Phillip Bates, 19th SFS police services supervisor. “Left turns into both schools are prohibited and tickets will be given to violators.”
According to the National Safety Council, more than 6,000 pedestrians in the United States were killed by vehicles in 2013, and fatalities went up by 6 percent in 2016. Drivers slowing down and paying attention when students are present before and after school could prevent injuries or fatalities.
Following these guidelines for both motorists and pedestrians could help prevent accidents:
Avoid double parking as it blocks visibility for children and other vehicles
Don’t drop off or pick up children across the street from the school
Carpool to reduce the number of vehicles
Children younger than 10 should cross the street with an adult
Cross the street at designated crosswalks
Travel in groups when walking or biking
Make eye contact with drivers and look both ways before crossing the street
“The main goal is to keep our children safe,” said Staff Sgt. Sean Williams, 19th Airlift Wing Occupational Safety Specialist. “Pay attention. Everyone’s busy, everyone has to get somewhere; slow down, read traffic signs and keep an eye out for children.”
Situational awareness and being mindful can reduce the chances of accidents. Pedestrians should be aware of drivers and make drivers aware of them.
For more information about school traffic safety, contact the 19th AW Occupational Safety office at 501-987-3290.