The importance of crosswalks heading to school

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It's a typical school day and the first thing on students' minds is making it to school on time, but sometimes they're not entirely focused on their surroundings.

but the real question is "why is it important to use a crosswalk when trying to get from one end of the street to the other?"

In two recent incidents here in Rapid City, a part of the issue has been just that. School officials say most of the time, the case is that students are rushing to make that first bell.

Matthew Seebaum, Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services says, "Use the crosswalk even if it makes you late. We much rather have kids late and safe than not get there at all because they're injured or worse."

So what are some things that can prevent these incidents from happening? Well first it's the awareness of the person making their way across the street.

Seebaum says, "The crosswalk pedestrian responsibility side of it is just that awareness and a constant reminder that we've got to use them, that's what they're there for."

but it's not all about the pedestrians, it's up to drivers to be cautious as well.

Being mindful that as the days get shorter, the morning sun sits lower in the sky, and most of all, watching the speed limit in the school zone.

Seebaum says, "Slow down. If the roads are slippery, even more especially before and after school on weekdays because that's just the habit that drivers have."

Officials say they are doing their part with providing signs and even paying extra for on-duty crossing guards, but it takes it a little effort and putting these safety guidelines into practice from everyone.

Matthew Seebaum, Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services, says "The one thing we can't control is the people side of it is that's contingent upon parents doing things, students doing things and still doing things as that all comes together with responsibilitiies.

The Rapid City Police Department says they will continue to do their part by addressing traffic and crosswalk violations with regular patrols through the school zones in the area.