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Campaign aims to reduce traffic accidents involving school kids

Mark Heyne

With kids starting to head back to school, AAA, local school officials and police are launching the School's Open - Drive Carefully campaign.  The kickoff was held Thursday at Mariemont Elementary School.  District superintendent Steven Estepp said this back-to-school time of year presents a great opportunity to remind people to be mindful and vigilant while driving near school buildings.

"Our number one priority as a school district is keeping students safe," said Estepp.  "We also need everyone's help to ensure our students are also safe while waiting at bus stops, walking or riding bikes to and from school."

The campaign kickoff comes as a new survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows motorists are growing less concerned about dangerous driving behaviors.  It shows a decline in the number of people who believe drinking and driving, drowsy driving or texting while driving are serious threats.  More than one-third of the people surveyed admitted to running a red light within the previous month.

"When it comes to driving in school zones especially, drivers cannot be complacent about potential safety risks behind the wheel," said Cheryl Parker, Corporate Public Affairs Manager for AAA.  "We need the community to join with us in this important effort to make sure our children are safe."