VC ranks 17th in 1998 pedestrian deaths: SPPD urges parents to make sure kids road wary

October 08, 1999
Santa Paula Police Department
Ventura County stepped off the curb of 1998 pedestrian deaths by ranking the 17th most dangerous county in the state. And since children are especially likely to be victims, a Santa Paula Police Department official is urging that parents make sure their children know the rules of crossing the road. Santa Paula had one pedestrian fatality last year, the tragic death of toddler Ivan Perez, struck while being pushed across Harvard Boulevard by his grandmother. Although using a crosswalk, Perez's grandmother did not see an approaching vehicle, and the driver did not see the pedestrians.Elsewhere in the county, six pedestrians were killed, two each died in Camarillo, three in Oxnard and one in Port Hueneme.Children are especially at risk: statewide, being hit by a car is the second-leading cause of death for children between the ages of 5 and 12 years old, according to the Surface Transportation Policy Project.Also ranking high are people struck by cars while using a crosswalk.Commander Mark Hanson of the SPPD said that with school now in session, parents should stress to their children that being road wary is the only way to go.
"We don't have crossing guards anymore so parents should be particularly attentive to making sure their children are aware of looking both ways before crossing the street and remaining alert [of any oncoming traffic] as they cross. They should also impress upon their children not to dart out between parked cars," where an unsuspecting motorist might not be able to stop their vehicle before making impact.Using a crosswalk does not automatically ensure safety: some that use crosswalks do so thinking they are safe, not realizing that drivers still might not notice them. While using a crosswalk children and adults alike must use caution by keeping an eye out for any oncoming traffic.

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