As students gear up to return to schools in Washoe County School District today, Monday, August 14, the Vision Zero Truckee Meadows regional task force is emphasizing the importance of exercising caution in school zones and adjacent areas.
Reports from the 2022-2023 academic year highlighted 21 accidents involving students from the district, officials said. One incident occurred near McQueen High School, resulting in life-threatening injuries to a student.
About half of these incidents took place in marked crosswalks, and the number of such collisions rose compared to the prior school year.
Accidents in school zones can largely be prevented, officials stressed. Local law enforcement will be ramping up their presence and monitoring efforts in school zones.
The task force has issued several safety guidelines:
- Use sidewalks. In the absence of sidewalks, it’s recommended to walk on the far left side of the road to face oncoming traffic.
- Cross streets at corners or crosswalks.
- Establishing eye contact with drivers.
- Walk in groups and wear reflective or brightly colored attire, especially under low-light conditions.
- Remove earbuds and avoid focusing on electronic devices.
- Drivers are encouraged to remain vigilant, looking out for children on foot or bicycles, especially during school hours.
- Follow school zone speed limits and traffic laws.
- Observe crossing guard signals.