LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Make school year accident free

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School begins Tuesday. About 6,000 students will return to Walla Walla Public Schools. This will increase car/pedestrian/bicycle/bus traffic in the vicinity of all schools.

Since 2009, five children have been hit by cars while on their way to school. There have been many close calls as well.

We want 2011-12 to be an accident-free school year!

Drivers must slow down, stay off cell phones, pay attention to crosswalks, school patrols and obey traffic laws. Parents dropping off/picking up their kids need to do the same and also avoid making those "quick" U-turns in traffic in front of schools.

Park only in designated areas, don't obscure a clear view for kids crossing the streets by parking to close to a corner. Teach your kids to walk or ride their bikes safely to school. Practice crossing streets, practice riding to school together before school starts. Make sure your child wears a bicycle helmet and understands the traffic rules for cyclists.

Adults need to set a good example by modeling safe behaviors in cars and when walking/cycling with kids. Cell phones and texting cause accidents for pedestrians when they aren't paying attention when crossing streets.

We can make our school zones safer by working together. This is especially important this year with long-term road construction near Wa-Hi and Prospect Point School.

Please help us get this school year off to a successful start by behaving safely in school zones.

Kathryn Southwick-Hess
Co-chairwoman, Safe Travels Alliance
Walla Walla

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