With the warmer weather approaching, Prosper residents will be constantly challenged to ensure safety for children both riding in their cars and those on residential streets, says Police Chief Doug Kowalski.
“School is still in session, so kids will likely be off the streets during the day,” he said. “But very soon, the days will grow longer, causing kids to be out on the bikes or walking about. Some will be on their way to baseball or soccer practice. Here in Prosper, we see kids in residential streets constantly.”
That fact, says the Chief, is the main reason there are speed limits on our residential streets of 25 miles per hour. It’s also why police strongly encourage drivers to refrain from using their cell phones while driving.
“Kids will always expect drivers to see them, and to yield to them, especially when they’re in groups,” he said. “It is the responsibility of the driver to stay alert, especially in residential streets, and maintain a constant awareness of pedestrians.”
Prosper is among the growing number of communities that have instituted a 25 miles per hour speed limit on residential streets, and speed limit signs have been erected to remind drivers.
“Drivers who are caught speeding along residential streets will be cited and fully prosecuted,” said the Chief. “Unfortunately, what we find is that many of these speeders are themselves residents of the neighborhood.”
And, while it is not illegal to use a mobile device while driving, safety experts agree that the distraction created by a cell phone can lead to accidents, many with tragic consequences.
Parents should also be mindful of the need for safety gear for their children who may be riding bikes, skateboards, or other non-motorized vehicles. Helmets, at a minimum, along with other padding should always be worn. If the kids will be out after dusk, brightly colored or reflective clothing helps them be seen by drivers.
“Insisting that kids cross at intersections, rather than the middle of the street is also important for parents,” said the Chief. “What we want is to ensure our neighborhoods are safe zones in every respect.”
And, while the weather has not reached the high temperatures of summer, mothers, fathers, babysitters or caregivers should never leave any children of any age in a parked car even for a short while.
Officers patrolling residential streets will be actively enforcing the speed limits.