The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

May 31, 2013

Stay alert with school out


DANVILLE — This weekend marks the real beginning of summer for hundreds of school-age children in Vermilion County and the surrounding area. And that means drivers must be more alert.

Motorists who are used to being on the lookout for children early in the morning and then in the mid-afternoon will need to be alert constantly.

Children often forget that drivers — especially in larger vehicles — can’t always see them. They think if they can see the car, whoever is driving the car and see them. That’s an assumption that can lead to tragedy.

Children also often ignore common sense, like not playing basketball on a dark street late at night or ignoring traffic signs that are meant for them as well as vehicles. Drivers can be more vigilant in areas where they know children live, and use extra caution around parks and playground.

Illinois lawmakers are considering a bill that will make it illegal to use any hand-held cell phone or other electronic device while driving. Texting while driving already is illegal. Both practices can prove to be deadly distractions for motorists.

Today’s younger drivers might not believe there was a time when friends and family actually made car trips without taking phone calls or answering texts.

Young people enjoy the freedom of summer sometimes with a bit too much enthusiasm. It’s up to drivers to be wary.