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Kids are back to school, and drivers need to do better.

Bike Walk Nebraska is concerned about recent news from Lincoln and Omaha: school has started, and within the last 48 hours, three children have been hit by drivers of vehicles, with one involving a student in a crosswalk and another being sent to the hospital in serious condition.  

“We must face the facts: these crashes are preventable. Drivers must be responsible for watching out for people walking and biking, obeying speed limits, and it should go without saying, remaining vigilant, especially in school zones. Lives are at stake,” says Cait Dumas-Hein, Associate Director of Bike Walk Nebraska. 

It takes change by everyone - municipalities, parents, law enforcement, drivers, school administrators, and advocates. We all need to do better to make our streets safer for kids simply trying to get to and from school. Pedestrian safety is a multifaceted issue, and putting the responsibility on “one leg of the stool” won’t provide a successful solution.

First and foremost, Nebraska needs to make bold investments in infrastructure and policies prioritizing pedestrian safety and active transportation, including safer crosswalks, driver accountability, and traffic-calming measures.

The Lincoln Police Department (LPD) is increasing enforcement in school zones, and we hope other agencies across the state are doing the same.

Additionally, Bike Walk NE invites school administrators and PTA organizations to engage in Safe Routes to School best practices and parents in conversation about safety, including safe arrival/dismissal procedures, locations of intersections with crosswalks and pedestrian signals, and asking everyone to slow down around the school. 

Here’s how you can help: 

  • Anyone who may have information about the driver/vehicle involved in the hit and run in Lincoln on August 15th at 7:50am in front of Culler Middle School should contact LPD at their non-emergency number 402-441-6000 or Crime Stoppers at 402-475-3600.
  • Parents driving kids to school or anyone driving through school zones in vehicles must be mindful of any distractions as well and follow the school zone speed limits.
  • Reach out to your city and state representatives with your concerns for your child and all students/pedestrians. Find your representative here.

We extend our best wishes for a full recovery to the kids injured by traffic violence this week. Let’s work together to raise awareness, implement effective infrastructure improvements, and ensure that every student’s walk or bike to school is a safe one.

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