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PNS Daily Newscast - November 20, 2017 


On our Monday nationwide rundown; decision day for the Keystone XL pipeline; a border patrol agent killed in the line of duty in Texas; and time is running out to comment on fees that could double or triple at many National Parks in 2018.

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As School Starts, Cars a Hazard for Kids

Im 2015, there was a 31 percent increase in injuries and fatalities from automobiles for children ages 4 to 14, according to the Idaho Department of Transportation. (Jason Devaun/Flickr)
Im 2015, there was a 31 percent increase in injuries and fatalities from automobiles for children ages 4 to 14, according to the Idaho Department of Transportation. (Jason Devaun/Flickr)
September 5, 2017

BOISE, Idaho – All across the United States at this time of year, 55 million children head back to school, walking and biking to class.

AAA Idaho reminds drivers that speed limits in school zones are reduced for a reason.

Matthew Conde, public affairs director at AAA Idaho, says according to the most recent data from the Idaho Department of Transportation, children are getting hurt more often by cars.

"Children ages 4 to 14 had a 31 percent increase in the amount of serious and fatal interactions with automobiles in 2015,” he points out. “That tells us that we have some work to do as far as getting the safety message out and making sure kids are safe, not just getting to school but also in their neighborhoods and communities."

Research shows that more than a third of drivers roll through stop signs in school zones and residential neighborhoods, and Conde says this is a good time of year to remember to come to a full stop and check for children before proceeding.

According to AAA, 3 to 7 p.m. is the most dangerous time during school days, especially as the days get shorter.

Conde says it's also important to eliminate distractions while on the road. Driving is risky when full attention isn't given to it.

"We need to remove distractions from the cockpit, and it's not just simple things like checking your cellphone,” he explains. “But it can be other things like eating or putting on makeup or simply being distracted by the work tasks related to the day."

Conde says parents also should take time to review the rules with their teen drivers. Teens driving to and from school present a major hazard.

"It's a good idea to remind your teen: Slow down, look in all directions, make sure you understand that these little kids may not be experienced, may not have ever seen a situation where they're crossing the street before," he stresses.

AAA offers more tips regarding teen drivers at teendriving.aaa.com.



Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ID