EDUCATION

Accidents rise as school year begins

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School starts in less than two weeks for Montgomery County students. As more tiny feet hit the crosswalks, teens take the wheel and parents strap in siblings, the chances of an accident are set to rise.

Already this year, Montgomery County police have recorded nearly 200 pedestrian accidents.

“Traffic crashes, whether students are pedestrians or passengers or even drivers in the car are the number one cause of death for your kids,” says Debra Hersman, Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board.

It’s a sobering statistic in Montgomery County. Just last year, 15-year-old Christina Morris-Ward was killed while walking to Seneca Valley High School.

“Going to school is an exciting time of year but you need to focus on traffic safety,” says Montgomery County Police Captain Thomas Didone. He may be more passionate than most. His teenage son Ryan was killed in a car accident nearly five years ago.

“It took one bad decision and it change my life forever,” he says.

Didone adds it’s not just teen drivers who are at risk –statistics show parents are also guilty of distracted driving. At a car seat check Wednesday Amber Tofilon admits her biggest fear is other drivers:

“Someone hitting me, something happening that I don't have any control over,” she says.

Police say whether kids still cruise in a car seat or can drive themselves, parents are the most important factor driving traffic safety. Capt. Didone says children not only listen to their parents warnings, but imitate their actions.

“Your children, you can talk to them, but you can’t talk to them enough,” he says.

School may be days away, but hopefully this is an unforgettable lesson.

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