Editorial: Pay attention and save lives

Shelton-School-Bus-FIDo you remember when we were kids, counting “one-Mississippi, two-Mississippi” so we didn’t count too fast? Try three Mississippis with your eyes closed.

A long time, right? It actually takes about five Mississippis to “glance” at your phone.

Now imagine doing that while driving, because your text message beep sounded. Your eyes were off of the road, and you were going 40 mph.

Anything can happen during that time. Recently in Connecticut, a woman was charged with the death of a motorcycle rider because she took her eyes off the road to look at a text message. She was a college student, working towards a degree in nursing. It was a mistake that she will carry for a lifetime.

Now with school in session, we wanted to remind you more kids will be out at the same time. With the freedom of childhood, it wouldn’t be unheard of the child not looking both ways to before running after a ball. They’re also walking to school and waiting for buses.

Enforcement efforts by the State Police will continue to step up for the fall, as more than half a million children return to school across Connecticut. With many children typically walking or riding the bus to school, State Police remind all drivers to be especially vigilant watching for pedestrians during before- and after-school hours.

The afternoon hours are particularly dangerous for walking children — over the last decade nationally, nearly one-third of child pedestrian fatalities occurred between 3 and 7 p.m.

That’s disturbing, to say the least.

Troopers ask all motorists to slow down in school zones. It is also important — and frankly, it’s the law — for all motorists to stop for school buses displaying flashing red lights.

The fine in Connecticut for passing a standing school bus is $465.

Pay attention.

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