Wilkinsburg School District pushes pedestrian, motorist safety ahead of the school year

WILKINSBURG, Pa. — The hustle and bustle of back-to-school is upon us.

AAA, PennDot and the Wilkinsburg School District joined forces Thursday to put the word out about pedestrian and motorist safety.

“We always tell pedestrians ‘make sure you make eye contact with the driver, that way, you know they see you and they know you see them,’” said Yasmeen Manyisha, a spokesperson for PennDot.

The event included a group of children who will be school safety patrollers at Turner Intermediate School.

Laetitia Dedji will be in 5th grade this year. And, this year is extra special because she’s a school safety patroller.

“First we greet them and then we hold our arms out until the crossing guard sends the signal that they can cross the road,” Laetitia said.

According to PennDot, there were 3,263 pedestrian-related crashes in Pennsylvania last year. Of those, 306 were in Allegheny County and 16 were fatal.

AAA says distracted driving is a huge problem.

“Especially in the morning time, that is not the time to be checking your phone, texting while driving... or scrolling through social media,” said Tiffany Stanley, a spokesperson for AAA East Central.

Laetitia hopes to make a difference this school year.

“It feels super good to help people and wear this badge because for other people it’s a job, but for me, it’s an honor, Laetitia said.

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