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Play it safe around school zones

Where has the summer gone?

A clear sign that the season is almost over is when school starts.

In West Fargo that is next Tuesday (Aug. 27) already, in advance of the Labor Day holiday.

With school starting, also comes the obvious increase in traffic in school zone areas and the need for awareness about safe driving practices.

Especially high volume traffic areas both located on busy, busy roadways will once again be the Cheney Middle School on 17th Avenue East and the West Fargo High School on 9th Street East; along with the newer schools along Veterans Boulevard and around 40th Avenue East.

These are always two areas of major concern involving the element of speed and the safety of pedestrian traffic — those walking in the regular school designated crosswalks, as well as those excited students who may dart out between cars or may cross the street without looking. Remember that in the state of North Dakota, the pedestrian has the right-of-way at the crosswalk.

On that same note, parents need to remind their children how to be safe pedestrians. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children younger than ten always walk with adults. The North Dakota Department of Health also suggests that parents walk to school with their children and teach them about pedestrian safety along the way so that when children are old enough to travel alone, they can stay safe and enjoy their walks to and from school.

Typically with the onset of school, local police will also be out in full force around the schools with extra patrols to ensure that both motorists and pedestrians are obeying the rules in an effort to prevent anything negative from happening.

Safety is a two-way street and all of us need to need to practice all the right moves.

If you travel a route that contains a school on your way to work either in the morning or afternoon, take the time to slow down and comply to all the extra traffic, both vehicle, on bike or foot, allowing yourself plenty of time to do so.

A little bit of extra caution on both the part of the driver and the pedestrian will go a long way in ensuring that no one is injured due to unnecessary carelessness.