Westworld Alberta

Fall 2014

Westworld Alberta

Issue link: http://westworldmagazine.ama.ab.ca/i/365611

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42 w e s t w o r l d A l b e r t A | f a l l 2 0 1 4 (teXtIng) steve pReZAnt/gettY IMAges, (sChOOL ZOne) eDMOntOn JOuRnAL/JOhn LuCAs PARK AND WALK The best way to navigate a school zone t he safest way to drop o the kids at school? Don't. Well, OK – give them a lift. But parking a few blocks away and walking them to the door is your best bet. at's because school zones can be chaotic – hurried parents, excited kids, buses coming and going. Parking and walking allows you to avoid that hectic space with your vehicle. Plus, you'll help cut tra c con- gestion, get some exercise and spend a few extra moments with the munchkins. "Families are so rushed every single morning; you rush to get the kids breakfast, rush to get them dressed, rush them out the door and then rush to get them to school," says Allison Pike of the AMA School Safety Patrol. " is way, you have some nice, calm time walk- ing together. It's good for your physical and mental health." AMA ran a Park and Walk pilot project at three Lethbridge schools last year, in partnership with Alberta Health Services. e results were encouraging, says Pike. e program reduced con- gestion in front of the schools and got families walking – and talking about walking. Similar pilots will run in several Calgary school districts this year. If you must enter a school zone in a vehicle: • Obey the posted speed limit. • Keep your eyes peeled for kids, cyclists and other vehicles. • Be patient while children cross. • Park at least 5 m from cross- walks and intersections. • Avoid making U-turns – it's too tough, mid-turn, to see small children crossing the street. • Be ready to stop for a school bus with its lights ashing amber. When its lights start ashing red, stop right away because children will start coming out. W Zombie Pedestrians Distracted driving gets plenty of press, but what about distracted walking? YOU'VE SEEN THEM.Stumbling over curbs, gazing downward at their gadgets with glazed expressions on their faces: distracted pedestrians. Or maybe you're the one lurching across intersections while sending " LOLs" to your friends. Time to cut it out: a 2012 study for the American journal Injury Prevention found that distracting activities, such as texting, talking on cellphones and listening to music, resulted in not- so-safe road crossings. Texters were most at risk, crossing 18 per cent slower than undistracted pedestrians. They were also four times as likely to demonstrate unsafe crossing behaviours, like disobeying lights and not looking both ways. Nice job, mom. An AMA school safety patroller signs the way for a walking family. International Walk to school Week is October 6-10. try it for the week and then keep on stepping. saferoutetoschool.ca WALK TALK Around 40 pedestrians die each year on Alberta roads, and around 1,180 are injured. Pedestrian collisions are most likely to occur on FRIDAY and during RUSH HOUR, 3–7 p.m. Casualty rates are highest for pedestrians aged 15 to 19 Crosswalks are for WALKING, NOT WHEELING. In Alberta, cyclists must dismount if they want to use marked crosswalks. Same goes for skateboarders. Source: Alberta Transportation

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