Focus on watching children

This is the first full week that all of the area school districts are on vacation for the summer – and a good time to remind motorists to take that into consideration.

With children playing outside and riding bicycles, scooters and skateboards, PennDOT is urging all motorists to be on the lookout for kids playing near streets because they may not be looking out for you.

It’s a good, timely message.

The world, as we know, is in a hurry – disgustingly so.

Unfortunately, most adults have allowed themselves to slip into, if not embrace, the idea that they can work day and night from their vehicle, by texting, emailing and talking on the phone – and that’s before they whip through a drive-thru and grab a quick meal while still at the wheel.

Let’s not let innocent children be victims of this technological madness that has given new meaning to distracted driving.

From 2008 through 2012, there were 130 crashes in PennDOT’s District 9, which covers Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon and Somerset counties, that involved a bicycle, resulting in three fatalities. During the same time period, there were 376 crashes involving a pedestrian, resulting in 26 fatalities.

Per PennDot, drivers should remember that if they see a bicyclist, they should slow down and, by law, must allow at least 4 feet between their vehicle and the bicyclist when passing.

Bicyclists are reminded to always wear a helmet, avoid biking at night, ride with the flow of traffic and learn and obey the rules of the road.

Parents should remind their children of safety precautions, urge their kids to exercise caution and to stay as far away from traffic as possible.

Enjoy a safe summer.