Last week, two separate incidents highlighted the need for policies like Complete Streets and Vision Zero – and for drivers to be vigilant.
In separate incidents, two Austin Independent School District students were struck by vehicles as they exited their school buses. Thankfully both students are OK, but both were too-close encounters in a city that is seeing traffic fatalities rise.
AISD provided this statement to the Austin Transportation Department after the incidents:
“AISD wants to ensure that students get to and from school safely. Please keep our students safe this year by following traffic laws and looking out for our students. Reduce speed when driving near schools and follow posted signs that require drivers to slow down to 20 miles per hour or less when lights are flashing. Failure to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks or stop when school bus lights are flashing and speeding through school zones when lights are flashing will result in a fine. Put down the cell phone and any other electronic devices. In addition to the City’s hands-free ordinance banning handheld electronic devices while driving, Texas also prohibits cell phones in school zones. Drivers are encouraged to put down all distractions and be extra cautious in school zones.”
Beyond driving safely, you can get involved in safer streets by choosing alternative transportation for some trips, making your voice heard to the Austin Pedestrian Advisory Council, or getting involved with the City’s Vision Zero process.