Crossing the Street


Children must learn traffic safety rules at an early age.  Parents should teach them to follow these ten steps, developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), whenever they cross a street:

  • Cross at an intersection or crosswalk, if available.
  • Stop at the curb, the edge of the road, or the corner before proceeding.  Look left, then right, then left again for traffic in all directions.  If you see a car, wait until it goes by.  Then look left, right, left again. 
  • When no cars are coming, walk--do not run--across the road. 
  • If a car is parked where you are crossing, look to make sure there is no driver and the car is not running.  Then go to the edge of the car and look left-right-left to see if cars are coming. 
  • At intersections with traffic lights, watch for cars and obey all traffic signals.  Wait until you see the WALK signal and the green traffic light.  Remember, the WALK signal and green light mean it’s your turn to cross the street, but does not mean it is SAFE to cross.  You need to LOOK, and then go if no traffic is coming your way. 
  • A flashing DON’T WALK signal means you should not start to cross the street.  However, if you have already started crossing when it begins flashing, continue walking.
  • If you see a steady DON’T WALK signal, don’t begin to cross the street.  Wait for the next WALK signal.
  • Walk on the sidewalk if there is one.  If there isn’t and you have to walk on the road, be sure to walk facing parked traffic so you can see what’s coming. 
  • If you must walk through parked traffic, stop and look carefully before stepping out from between vehicles.
  • Don’t run between cars and buses.  Don’t run across the street or through a parking lot.