LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A 7-year-old Holt Public School student was run over by a bus Wednesday after hitting it while riding his bike.
This incident and several close calls with students in another district have law enforcement calling on drivers to slow down in local school zones. The incidents serve as an underscore to Pedestrian Safety Month. Police say it’s time to spread awareness for safe driving around local schools.
“People are concerned and rightfully so,” says Meridian Township Chief of Police Rick Grillo. “We want to make sure this area is as safe as possible for the kids and the motorists as well.”
Last month, a student at Okemos School District’s Chippewa Middle School was using a crosswalk when he was hit by a car. He survived the collision. Meridian Township Police say traffic in and around schools can become complicated during drop-off and pick-up times.
“They usually use the center turn lane — which is absolutely not allowed,” says Grillo.
Wednesday, in Holt, a 7-year-old riding his bike was run over by a bus.
Preventing more collisions or a tragedy is important says Grillo. “Educate the public on how they should act in these school zones,” he says as a first line of defense. “The other is enforcement. I have officers who will be in these school zones making traffic stops and enforcing whatever traffic laws we need to enforce. And lastly, through engineering, there are certain things we can do to possibly alleviate some of the traffic issues we have down here.”
He says drivers need to be very careful and remember children aren’t as aware as adults.
“If you’re driving, you are a responsible adult, who needs to make sure you have your eyes up, that you’re not looking at your cell phone, and not distracted by anything else,” Grillo says. “That you lower your speed to at least what the maximum speed limit is posted which is 25 here.”
Grillo says parents also need to talk about pedestrian safety with their kids.
“Even if you do have the right of way make sure that you’re looking both ways before you cross the street. If you’re riding a bicycle, wear a helmet every single time,” he says of things children should be told. “Also you have a responsibility to keep your eyes up so, don’t walk around with a cell phone in your hand, or a book in your hand. Take your earbuds out, and be aware of your surroundings. I think if we all partner together we can make this a very safe area.”
Holt Public Schools released a statement regarding the student hit by a bus Wednesday to say they are reviewing the incident.
The Holt student is still in the hospital.