SDOT recently participated in a Take Your Youngster’s to Work Day event at City Hall, hosted by Councilmember Rob Johnson. There were about 50 kiddos, ages 2 to 13, learning about what we grownups at the city do. Of course, Seattle Fire Department stole the show with their fire truck.
But we captivated kids with our Vision Zero super hero capes and played some epic games of red light, green light. We also walked through our traffic safety course, teaching them what bike lanes and traffic circles are and why we build them. We also talked about the importance of speed, and let them know that every intersection is a legal crossing (not just marked crosswalks).
The safety course isn’t just for kids. We could probably all use a refresher on the rules of the road. Grown ups, let’s be real. When was the last time you drove and didn’t touch your phone? In the past 3 years, we’ve seen a 300% increase in inattention. We have a hunch it has something to do with the tiny computers we’re all glued to these days.
Or maybe you jaywalked when no one was looking (different from dancing like no one is watching, to be clear), rolled right past that stop bar without looking to see if anyone was crossing, or thought you could make that light, but ended up blocking the intersection and crosswalk? We could go on and on. These are human behaviors, yes. But they’re also poor choices.
It’s funny (not really) because we tell our kids to look both ways and be kind to others, but it seems that with age, we forget some of these rules. Let’s remember that it’s up to each of us to improve safety on our streets. That’s going to be key as we work toward our Vision Zero goal of ending traffic deaths and serious injuries on our streets by 2030.
We can teach our children well, but we also need to remember those same rules as adults.
PS – if you’d like a traffic safety course kit of your own, we can hook you up!