Pedestrian Safety for Children Ages One to Nineteen (1-19) Years Old

Encourage your child to follow these safe pedestrian rules so they develop lifelong safety practices.

  • Obey all traffic signs and signals. Use pedestrian pushbuttons and WAIT for signals to cross.
  • Cross in marked crosswalks and at intersections.
  • Before crossing, look left, right, then left again, and over your shoulder for turning vehicles.
  • Never run into the street; always cross at the crosswalks or corners. When crossing at an intersection, check for vehicles turning the corner.
  • Always walk on the sidewalk. If there are no sidewalks, pedestrians should walk facing traffic.
  • Stay visible after dark and in bad weather with light-colored or reflective clothing.
  • Make eye contact with drivers to be sure they are aware that you are crossing the street.
  • Find safe places away from traffic for your child to play.

Read on to learn more about child pedestrian safety.

  • Follow the rules for safe pedestrian behavior. All children learn by watching adults.
  • Watch young children closely. Hold your child’s hand when walking along the street or in parking lots. Children ages 5 to 9 years old should still be supervised when walking along the street or in parking lots. Young children should never cross the street without an adult.
  • Seek opportunities to teach your child the pedestrian safety rules above.
  • Always have your child exit the vehicle on the side that is closest to the sidewalk or shoulder of the road.

If your child takes the bus, they are still a pedestrian on the way to and from the bus stop. Teach your child to:

  • Always cross in front of the bus, never behind it.
  • Take five large steps away from the front of the bus before attempting to cross.
  • Make eye contact with the bus driver who will signal them when it is ok to start crossing.
  • Once the child receives the ok to cross, step off the curb and walk only until reaching the front edge of the bus. Look left, right, and left again. Only if traffic is clear or stopped, should the child proceed to cross.
  • Children should wear bright colored clothing or retro-reflective material designed to make pedestrians more visible. This is especially important if children are walking at dusk, at night, or in bad weather.
  • Toddlers are small and difficult for drivers to see, which puts them at greater risk of being backed over by vehicles.
  • Avoid using the driveway as a "playground" and teach your children to never play around parked vehicles. If using the driveway as a place for kids to play, block the entrance to stop cars from pulling in.
  • Supervise your children when playing in areas near parked motor vehicles and whenever a vehicle is to be moved. Never leave a child alone around parked cars!
  • Make children aware that "parked" vehicles can soon become moving vehicles and just because they see the car, it doesn't mean that the driver of that car can see them.
  • Drivers should take a walk around their parked vehicle to ensure that no children are behind it before getting behind the wheel.
  • Make sure children in the area are in sight before backing a vehicle out of a driveway or parking lot spot.
  • Sidewalks
  • Physical barriers to separate pedestrians from the roadway - such as wide shoulders and strips of landscaping between the street and sidewalk
  • “Traffic calming measures” - such as median barriers or speed bumps
  • Crossing guards and speed enforcement zones

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