LOS ANGELES – As schools across Los Angeles are on break for summer vacation, the kids at Lovelia P. Flournoy Elementary School got a send-off with some traffic safety from Safe Moves.
Safe Moves is a non-profit organization that uses interactive presentations as a teaching tool. The organization has been teaching traffic safety since 1983. Instructor Lisa Hadley talked to the students and ran through some safety scenarios with the help of members of the Los Angeles Police Department.
“When the children see a distracted driver,” said Hadley, “we're teaching them to make eye contact with them. They're going to want to wave their arm get that driver’s attention and not to cross the street until they do make eye contact with the driver.”
Safe Moves uses a mock-up city street complete with crosswalks, signals, and cars which the kids can practice spotting and making eye contact with drivers. Hadley said there is one thing that kids need to be particularly careful of.
“Cars turning right are the largest hazard for the kids because the cars are coming basically from behind them,” said Hadley. “We're making sure that they're looking all different directions before they cross.”
Members of LAPD were on hand to help the kids through the traffic scenarios. The officers know first-hand how important traffic safety is.
“We had two young girls that died in Newton division a few months ago,” said Officer Aaron Thompson. “And we're just trying to do everything in our power to ensure that that doesn't happen again. We get distracted as drivers. And, so, we're here to make sure that the kids know that they have to be extra cautious.”
The students got a chance to ask questions and to show how they have learned to get drivers’ attention by always looking before crossing the street.
“Accidents are on the rise,” said Hadley. “So, we want the kids to stay safe, but have fun, keep their eyes open, and just be aware.”