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Our View: Take it slow as school resumes this week in Dickinson

Do you remember how excited and nervous you were for your first day of school? Every year was different, from kindergarten through high school. Then came the year you were old enough to ride your new bike and, years later, when you drove yourself to school for the first time. The only first day of school more exciting and filled with more anxiety is when school starts and you’re the parent.

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School is back in session this week. There’s more traffic than ever and more students than Dickinson has had in a long time. Dickinson’s traffic can be challenging enough on non-school days, but adding new drivers, new pedestrians and new parents to the mix can create more dangers.

The best thing we can all do this week — even if we don’t have kids in school — is to slow down, start our morning commute earlier and keep an eye out for kids on the streets.

When school begins, traffic patterns change dramatically, both before, after and during school hours. We all need to pay attention to school zones, buses and school crosswalk signs.

Parents of teenagers should remind their kids and demonstrate to them what a big reasonability they now have as drivers, and that they must focus on safe driving. Cellphones have no place in a moving vehicle.

Texting isn’t the only deadly distraction, either. Eating, drinking, playing with music and simply not giving one’s full focus to driving can also be dangerous. Teenagers often get a bad rap when it comes to driving, but our kids mimic their parent’s habits. No texting while driving applies to everyone.

Congratulations to Kiwanis for once again placing reminder signs all over our city that school is back in session. Hopefully, folks will read the signs and help make the start of the school year a safe one for all concerned.

As we all know, southwest North Dakota is a busier place than it ever has been and it is not easy to slow down.

Regardless of all that, it’s up to residents to take the small bit of extra time and be considerate, watch for kids crossing the street or riding their bike on the sides of the road.

You could end up saving a life.

The Dickinson Press Editorial Board consists of Publisher Harvey Brock, Managing Editor Dustin Monke and Assistant Editor April Baumgarten.