Recent bike accidents increase safety awareness

Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - 9:41am

It's the first day back at Creswell Elementary since the death of 5-year-old MacKenzie Beightol. The kindergartener was hit by a truck and killed last Thursday in a driveway near her home. This weekend, a second child was injured in Plain Dealing when he was struck by a truck while riding his bicycle.

For some Ark-La-Tex parents, the shock of these accidents hasn't quite worn off. "I have a 5-year-old and you know, it's just sad that something can happen, you know, in the blink of an eye," said Melissa Woods, whose three daughters went to school with MacKenzie Beightol.

Unfortunately, stories like this aren't uncommon, according to KidsAndCars.org. Founder Janette Fennell founded the website after realizing how many children are injured in automobile accidents. She says 50 children are hurt or killed every week across the country. The website recently helped pass a bill that requires unobstructed rear views for all vehicles sold in the United States. It was signed into law in 2007, but isn't in effect because of technical delays.

For Fennell, it's all about education. "We really need to stop and appreciate and understand that every morning, when we get into our car, we're basically doing the most dangerous thing we're going to do all day," she said.

For more about KidsAndCars, visit the website.
 http://kidsandcars.org/

You can learn more about safety tips here.
http://kidsandcars.org/userfiles/dangers/backovers/backover-safety-tips.pdf

A listing of vehicles and their blind zones, as listed by Consumer Reports is available here.

http://kidsandcars.org/userfiles/dangers/backovers/consumer-reports-bz-measurements.pdf

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