GAITHERSBURG, Md. (WDVM) — Thousands of kids across our region wake up every day and make the trip to school. It’s a normal part of any student’s daily routine, but it also might be one of the most dangerous parts of their school day.
Summit Hall Elementary School in Gaithersburg, Maryland hosted Montgomery County’s National Walk to School Day celebration Wednesday morning, with safety officials putting an emphasis on reminding us all to stop, look, and listen along with our commutes.
“Everybody driving through their communities needs to have their heads on a swivel, and look for kids in the crosswalks,” said Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Chief Scott Goldstein.
Chief Goldstein has seen what happens when drivers and pedestrians aren’t paying attention to their surroundings. He’s reminding everyone to eliminate distractions.
“Take the earbuds out, keep their ears open, keep their eyes open, so they can hear the approaching car and they can look for the approaching car,” he said.
Walter Castellon is a student at Summit Hall, and he may only be 9 years old, but he certainly knows a thing or two about getting to school safely, telling us he knows it’s important to “check both sides of the road to not get hit by a car, and always obey the signs that tell you if you can walk or if a car is coming.”
His classmate Jose Trejo takes his job as a sidewalk safety patrol seriously, telling WDVM 25 he wanted to be a patrol because he wants “to help keep students safe.”
Chief Goldstein says what you wear can make a difference, saying to “wear a reflective band on your backpack or on your wrist. Wear bright colors, don’t be in all dark colors while you’re walking.”
As we get into the fall and winter months and see less daylight, Chief Goldstein says it’s especially important to dress in bright colors and slow down when wet weather strikes.