Super 70 Drivers Asked to be Wary of Children
As the Super70 project gets underway this week, drivers are asked to not only map out detours to avoid congested areas near downtown, they're also requested to drive the speed limit and keep an eye out for children.
The roads drivers will use to get around construction are primarily residential, home to thousands of children who walk to nearby schools or play near soon-to-be busy streets.
"I hope drivers will keep an eye out for our children who walk to school," said IPS Superintendent Eugene G. White. "But they also need to be wary of school buses. No matter how rushed they may be, drivers need to remember not to pass buses that have their cross arms out as they stop to let children get out of the vehicles."
Dawn Daniels DNS, RN, is the program coordinator for the Injury Free Coalition for Kids at Riley Hospital for Children. "The Super 70 area already is one of our highest hot spots for child pedestrian injuries in the city. I'm worried this is really going to skyrocket. At Clarian Health, an average of 31 children under the age of 18 who live in this area are seen for pedestrian/bicycle-motor vehicle injuries each year," she said.
The dangers include:
- Increased truck traffic -- large vehicles have large blind spots, making it difficult to see children.
- Vehicle and pedestrian traffic increases with warmer weather. Typically, spring through fall is Riley's highest volume of these types of injuries.
- Frustrated drivers taking shortcuts via neighborhood streets where children are less likely to watch for motor vehicles.
- Neighborhood streets have cars parked on both sides of the road -- kids will "pop" out between the cars.
- Many busy streets don't have lights at every intersection in order to improve traffic flow. Kids crossing streets don't walk the extra blocks to reach an intersection.
Drivers are urged to slow down and use caution in residential areas. Even children who appear to be aware of oncoming traffic can unpredictably step into traffic. Use sun visors to avoid glare and ensure visibility during sunrise and sunset hours.