Community leaders urge drivers to slow down in school zones

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School speed limit signs marking school zones are in place to keep kids safe. The Orem Police Department, along with elementary school leadership, is asking community members to slow down to potentially save a life.

Shelley Schroeder, the Centennial Elementary School principal, has seen firsthand what can happen when people ignore the posted reduced speed limits, and wants more than anything to keep the children in this community safe.

“School zones are for children and safety always comes first at elementary schools,” Schroeder said.

Schroeder used to work at Alpine school district and recalled a moment where a student in the school adjacent to hers was run over by a car and killed.

“No one intended that. But those are unintended consequences of not being safe in a school zone,” she said.

According to Schroeder, just a few minutes of slowing down makes all the difference.

“If parents could remember that it’s really not about them during those moments. It’s five to seven minutes of their life. It’s about children and keeping them safe. We all want to bring their children home at the end of the day. Safely,” she said.

A study done by Safe Kids Worldwide found that every day in the U.S., more than 40 kids are hit by a vehicle while walking. That’s more than 15,000 children injured each year.

Schroeder believes that it’s not the children at fault, but parents and other distracted drivers.

“Children know best. We’re out there honestly because there’s a trust factor with parents,” Schroeder said.

Drivers need to commit themselves to caution, thinking ahead to protect those in the community.

“That extra three minutes that it took you that you might be late for in the long run that doesn’t matter,” she said.

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