VAN NUYS (CBSLA.com) — Los Angeles police Wednesday held a back-to-school safety and crossing guard awareness event.
The School Zone Crosswalk Awareness Detail began at 7:30 a.m. at the intersection of Columbus Avenue and Vanowen Street near Columbus Avenue Elementary School.
“We’re hoping to avoid the tickets, and make sure everybody’s aware of the increased vehicular traffic, but also the little kids that are walking to school and riding their bikes,” LAPD Valley Traffic Division Captain Maureen Ryan told KNX1070.
The LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division reminded motorists of the importance of driving safely at and near schools. In less than one hour, 36 citations were handed out to those violating the crosswalk law.
“We want to put the word out that we don’t want a child’s life to be affected in a moment’s notice because of a distracted driver,” LAPSD Chief Steve Zipperman said.
The Los Angeles Unified School District has more than 1,100 schools and 655,000 children in attendance. Police say more than 17 percent of pedestrian-related traffic collisions in the city of Los Angeles involve children ages five to 17.
“Currently we have 410 crossing guards that are out there to help assist cross our children safely,” Dept. of Transportation Capt. Latonia Allen said.
Officials enforced the importance of the following tips for parents:
- Allow Extra Time: Do not arrive late or at the last minute. Prepare the night before and leave your house early so you do not need to rush.
- Reduce Speed: The maximum speed near a school is 25 miles per hour. However, slower speeds are recommended when children are present. Speed is the number one cause of collisions around schools.
- Obey Stop Signs: Make a complete stop. Be vigilant. Look for children stepping off the sidewalk.
- No Double Parking: Double parking impedes traffic flow. Never let a child exit a double parked vehicle.
- Avoid U-Turns: U-turns near the school cause congestion. Do so only at an intersection if permitted.
- Do Not Park in a Red Zone: The curb is red due to safety reasons. Parking in the red often obstructs the view of other drivers which could result in a collision with a child or other vehicle.