Dover, Del.–June 11, 2003 Fifty-four people have died on Delaware roads since January 1st of this year, a nearly 10% increase over the same time frame as last year. That’s why Governor Ruth Ann Minner and Delaware highway safety officials are asking motorists to drive with added caution as school prepares to let out for the summer.
“These numbers are startling,” said Gov. Minner. “My main concern right now is that in less than a week,there will be more children outside playing as the 2002-2003 school year ends. I want motorists to be aware of this and drive cautiously.”
“Drivers should especially be on the lookout for children in and around neighborhoods, and playgrounds,”said Office of Highway Safety Director Tricia Roberts. “There will be more children crossing streets and riding bicyclesfor the next several months, and they may not always be paying attention.”
Bike helmet use is required for all children under age 16 and highly recommended for everyone else.While there have not been any fatalities involving bicyclists since the beginning of the year,six pedestrians have been killed in crashes, four more than at this time last year.
Parents of children under the age of nine should not allow them to cross the street aloneuntil they have practiced many times and can demonstrate their ability to cross safely and smartly.All pedestrians should cross at crosswalks or intersections when one is available.
Of the 54 people killed in traffic crashes this year, 44 were vehicle occupants and 26 of them (59%) were not wearing seatbelts.Additionally, 14 (26%) of motor vehicle deaths in Delaware this year have been alcohol-related,and 33 (63%) of the fatal crashes have involved acts of aggressive driving.
Delaware Department of Education
401 Federal Street, Suite #2
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 735-4035
Fax: (302) 739-4654
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