By Mayor Marsha McLean
Summertime is beautiful and full of opportunities in Santa Clarita. Whether you enjoy hiking in our beautiful canyons, riding your bike along the miles of scenic trails or having a picnic with your family while you listen to music at Concerts in the Park, the great weather enables us to get out of the house and explore our City.
As you make your plans for fun, activities and entertainment this summer, remember to talk to your kids about staying safe. Especially when they are out riding bikes or playing with friends at the park. It is as imperative that they keep an eye out for cars — as it is that drivers keep an eye out and expect more children in crosswalks and on sidewalks.
Our Heads Up! campaign has reached out to pedestrians, cyclists and drivers — reminding them of the importance of avoiding distractions. Make sure your kids have a Heads Up! summer and stay safe while having fun. Here are a few safety tips to share with your family.
Eliminate Distractions When your kids are heading out to shoot hoops with friends or ride their skateboard to the skate park, remind them to be aware of their surroundings. Dribbling a basketball or trying out a new trick on the sidewalk can take their attention away from nearby vehicles.
Walking on Sidewalks Reinforce with your children that they should always walk on the sidewalk — it is safest for them to stay on the portion of the sidewalk furthest from the street — and only cross the street at designated crosswalks.
Take the Safest Route Sit down and plan out the safest route from one place to the next. You can walk the route with your kids ahead of time so they are familiar with it and be sure to use pedestrian bridges and paseos whenever possible to avoid busy intersections.
Bicycle Riding Make bike safety part of their daily routine. Kids should always wear a helmet and remind them to make sure they are seen by drivers when crossing the street. They should stop and make eye contact with the driver before entering the intersection.
Look Both Ways We can’t repeat this enough. The same rule our parents taught us about looking both ways before crossing the street still applies today. Whether kids are crossing the street to go to a neighbor’s house or are walking with you to the park, they should look both ways for any approaching cars — and then look again.
These are just some topics that you can talk with your family about this summer. Please take time to visit the City’s traffic safety website for more tips at santa-clarita.com/HeadsUp.
The most important thing you can do as a parent this summer is to make sure you and your kids build memories that will last a lifetime. I know my fellow City Councilmembers join me in wishing you a happy, healthy and safe summer in Santa Clarita.
Mayor Marsha McLean is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached [email protected].