Safety First

Safety First is a community outreach program aimed at increasing awareness of child pedestrians and bicyclists.

The safety of children within our community is of the utmost importance and this campaign is designed to help keep motorists and children aware of their surroundings walking or riding to school, home or anywhere in between.

Because safety education of our youngest citizens is vitally important, the City of Hesperia, in partnership with the Hesperia Unified School District, Hesperia Recreation and Park District and San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department launched a new program in fall 2015 called Safety First. The launch of this crucial awareness program includes the development of a safety awareness video of students at Hesperia Jr. High; distribution of bike helmets and reflective gear at two community events annually; strategic message placement throughout the community; and special safety assemblies at elementary schools.

With the 40 miles of bike lanes and walkways currently accessible in the City and the sidewalk and bike path improvements provided by the Safe Routes to School program, one of the best ways to encourage more children to walk and bicycle to school is to provide families with the information they need to determine the best routes taking into account both safety and convenience. Therefore the primary objective of the Safety First Program is to help students and families develop new walking and biking habits for a lifetime. Enforcement and engineering safety improvements near schools will also be included to help minimize risk to students as they travel to school.

City staff is coordinating with the Hesperia Unified School District and San Bernardino County Sheriff Department to introduce Safety First assemblies at elementary schools during the 2016-17 school year.

Tips to Prevent Crashes

Elementary school children can be very active and impulsive. Although they are learning to grow, school-age children 10 and younger still need guidance and supervision when playing and walking near traffic.

Here are some common myths that children may believe about being a pedestrian:

Myth - A green light means that it is safe to cross.
Fact - Children should be repeatedly reminded that a green light means that you should stop and look for cars before you step off the curb, looking left and right for traffic, prior to crossing the road.

Myth - You are safe in a crosswalk
Fact - Children should never let their guard down while in the road, even while walking across a crosswalk.

Myth - If you see a driver, the driver sees you.
Fact - Children should understand that even if they are aware of a driver and their vehicle the motorist may not be aware of them. Children should always use caution around vehicles, even when they are not moving.

Myth - Wearing white or bright colors at night will make you visible.
Fact - White and bright colors do not make you visible at night. The only way to increase a child's visibility during low-light and nighttime activity is to carry a flash light and/or wear reflective clothing.

Additional Tips for Children

When crossing the street your child should always:

- Cross at the corner or at an intersection.
- Stop at the edge of parked cars, the curb or other vehicles.
- Look left and right for moving cars.
- Cross when clear and keep looking left and right.
- Walk, don't run or dart, into the street
- Look for signs that a car is about to move (rear lights, exhaust smoke, sound of motor, wheels turning).
- Stay alert at all times

For more information, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Association's website.
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