Do you remember being a child and hearing the tune of “It’s a Small World” outside your window? You knew instantly it was the ice cream man and you couldn’t wait to rush out the door to catch him.
Whether you live in a residential area or on a busy street, chances are you will be hearing the ice cream truck all summer long and probably reliving your childhood a bit. However, we can’t lose sight of the risks, especially in today’s age of impaired drivers, distracted motorists, and just the high volume of traffic in general on our roads.
In 2003, a 9-year old girl was hit by a car while trying to cross the street to the ice cream truck in Monsey, New York. This incident led Senator Thomas P. Morahan to introduce a bill requiring ice cream trucks to have front crossing arms that activate when the truck is stopped. Similar to a school bus, this crossing arm is used to signal to oncoming traffic that they need to wait for the pedestrian to cross the street.
Photo by: Alex Proimos
Though this measure was an important step in pedestrian safety, vigilance and caution are still just as important. And it’s not only the other drivers on the road we need to be concerned with: last month, an ice-cream truck driver in Albany was arrested for DWI.
Here are some pedestrian safety rules you can talk to your children about.
- Which Side of the Road to Walk On: If you are walking down a street with no sidewalks, you should always walk on the left side, toward oncoming traffic. This gives you, the pedestrian, the opportunity to make eye contact with the driver, and gives you both the chance to move for one another.
- How to Cross the Street: Stop, look, and listen are the easiest words for your children to remember when it comes to crossing the street. Stop a couple feet from the street, look both ways for traffic, and listen for a car that may be coming quickly from a side street you weren’t able to see.
- What to Do at Dusk: Once the sun starts to set, it is easy for pedestrians to be missed by cars. Your phone is the most accessible tool for illuminating your path as you run out to flag the ice cream man down. The importance of wearing bright colors is also something that will help your children stand out in the shadowy evening light.
By taking a few precautionary measures, you can minimize the risk of a motorist-pedestrian accident, and enjoy a great summertime rite of passage. If you or your child have been injured by either an ice cream truck, or a motorist trying to bypass an ice cream truck, LaMarche Safranko Law can help. Contact us for a no-obligation consultation at (518) 463-7784 or online.