The Georgetown Police Department is reaching out with back-to-school safety tips for residents.
"With the start of the school year quickly approaching, we must increase our attention on the roadways. Mornings and afternoons, in Georgetown and across Delaware, will find streets busier with both vehicle and pedestrian traffic," said Joey Melvin, the department's public information officer and school resource officer. "It's important for drivers to be aware of our student walkers and to be vigilant when traveling the roadways. It’s equally as important that our student walkers and cyclists use safe practices when commuting to and from school."
Melvin provided the following tips:Parents should walk their child's route each year to become familiar with it and identify any changes or hazards that may be present. Walkers should make sure to use crosswalks, standing at the corner of the intersection and looking both ways before crossing. If no crosswalks are provided, always walk facing traffic, watch for turning vehicles and make sure vehicles come to a complete stop before crossing. Walkers should never enter a street between parked cars, due to limited visibility, and always walk far enough in front of stopped vehicles to be clearly seen. Students should make sure to walk, not run, while crossing the streets. As an added precaution, parents could add bright or reflective items to a child's backpack to help increase visibility. Drivers should take extra time and precautions to ensure the safety of student walkers. Drivers should slow down and make sure to be alert and patient not only in school zones, but at intersections, medians and curbs where students may be traveling to or from school. Drivers should be prepared for children to enter the roadways and leave plenty of space when stopped near crosswalks so other drivers can see any approaching pedestrians. Drivers are encouraged to be patient when other vehicles are stopped for pedestrians and never pass those vehicles. In conjunction with state law, drivers should not be talking on cell phones or texting while driving. Be alert for an increase in bicyclists. To prevent collisions, drivers should anticipate that bicyclists may not follow the rules of the roadway.