Billboards in Dayton highlight importance of using a crosswalk

Jen Balduf, Dayton Daily News, Ohio
·3 min read

Apr. 8—Dayton Children's Hospital is placing six billboards featuring a baby chick crossing the road throughout Dayton to emphasize the importance of using a crosswalk when crossing the road.

Dayton Children's, Dayton Public Schools, the city of Dayton and the Ohio Department of Transportation have been busy installing new crosswalks to make sure children are able to safely cross the road. This past year, city of Dayton installed more than 100 new crosswalks near Dayton schools.

"The goal of these new crosswalks is to make it easier to walk from place to place throughout the city, especially near schools. We also want to make sure everyone is safe as they walk in Dayton," said Abbey Pettiford, injury prevention coordinator at Dayton Children's Hospital.

Last year, the Dayton Children's emergency department saw more than 700 injuries last year related to biking and walking, with many of these injuries happening at in intersections.

The billboards locations are: — Patterson Boulevard south of Ludlow Street southbound — Smithville Road north of Linden Avenue northbound — Edwin C. Moses Boulevard west of Interstate 75 East — Needmore Road at Wagoner Ford Road eastbound — Keowee Street north of East Third Street northbound — Shoup Mill Road at Riverside Drive westbound

"We encourage you and your family to try out these new crosswalks on your way to and from school! Walking and biking to school is a great way to get your exercise in and these new crosswalks will help make your commute safer," Pettiford said.

The crosswalk project was made possible by funding from ODOT's Safe Routes to School grant.

Here are some tips to make sure everyone in the family knows how to use the crosswalk safely: — Be careful when you approach the crosswalk, you will see a countdown signal. Press the button and enter the crosswalk when the "walking person" walk signal appears. — If you haven't started crossing, don't cross if you do not see the "go" signal. — Teach kids at an early age to look left, right and left again before crossing the street. Then remind them to continue looking until safely across. — It's always best to walk on sidewalks or paths and cross at street corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. — Teach kids to make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street. — Children younger than 10 need to cross the street with an adult. Every child is different, but developmentally, most kids are unable to judge the speed and distance of oncoming cars until age 10. — Teach kids not to run or dart out into the street or cross between parked cars. — Encourage kids to be alert for cars that are turning or backing up. — If kids are walking when it's dark out, teach them to be especially alert and make sure they are visible to drivers. Have them wear light- or brightly colored clothing and reflective gear. — Teach kids to put cellphones, headphones and devices down when crossing the street.