Spontaneity is a big part of being a kid. And while it's an endearing quality it's also responsible for the act-first, think-later mindset that plagues all of us when we're young.
Motorists will have to take that unpredictability into account on school days as children begin walking to and from school, some of them taking whatever path occurs to them at the moment. This seasonal plea for careful driving is even more urgent this year in the Brainerd School District since the number of children who will be walking to and from school is going to increase.
Budget cuts have resulted in more than 700 students who live within a mile of their school being eliminated from the bus program. Those students will have to walk or find other transportation to school. Certainly, many of them will get rides from their parents, but the bottom line is there are likely to be a lot more student walkers than in previous years.
Accordingly, drivers will have to take extra precautions, particularly in school neighborhoods. The Brainerd Police will be monitoring school routes but police officers can't be everywhere.
While many kids know and respect traffic rules drivers should be prepared to see jay-walking and other troublesome practices from the youthful and easily distracted pedestrians.
Being in the right will be little consolation to drivers who are unfortunate enough to be involved in a motor vehicle accident involving a child. Stay alert and expect the unexpected with young pedestrians.
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