LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — At least two traffic crashes involving local school zones have happened since school started this semester, Meridian Township Police Department confirmed on Monday.
Police Chief Rick Grillo told 6 News a crash on Oct. 4 involved a child who was walking and a car at the intersection of Kinawa Drive and Okemos Road, an hour after the nearby school’s dismissal.
Grillo said another traffic crash on Sept. 15 involved the crosswalk in front of Chippewa Middle School on Kinawa Drive, and happened during school dismissal time.
In response to what Chief Grillo called “several incidents involving traffic safety” in the Meridian Township area, Grillo and John Hood, superintendent of Okemos Public Schools, sent a letter to the Okemos schools community on Oct. 6, which urged parents to remind their students about the safest ways to cross the street and requested drivers to take special care in school zones.
The letter included several tips for driving and walking through local school zones:
- Be cautious in the parking lot and in the school zone. Younger pedestrians may not be as easily seen and often do not have the situational awareness that adults have.
- Be patient. Drop-off and pick-up can be very stressful for everyone involved. Take turns letting people in and out of the parking lot.
- Center turn lanes are not to be used for through traffic. It is there for drivers to turn out and is not to be used to go around stopped traffic.
- Helmets save lives! If your child rides bikes or scooters to school, make sure they are wearing helmets. If your child does not have a helmet and you are not able to get them one, please let the Meridian Twp. Police Dept. know and we can help.
- Travel in packs. Whenever possible, have kids walk or ride to school in groups. Carpooling will also reduce the number of vehicles during drop-off and pick-up.
- Be prepared. At drop-off, children should be ready to exit the vehicle when it is your turn.
“Through patience, education, and awareness, we can mitigate risk and make our school zones safer for everyone,” Grillo and Hood’s letter said.