Pottstown Third-Graders Take One-Way Street To Safety
June 4, 2016
The Reading Eagle
By: Matt Carey
"Oh, no. No, no, no," third-grader Zarreea Brown cried as Pottstown police officer Brandon Unruh ticketed her for riding a bike the wrong way on a one-way street.
Both Zarreea and the officer laughed as she stepped aside to serve her punishment - 10 jumping jacks.
Zarreea and classmates at Lincoln Elementary School in Pottstown recently participated in "Traffic Safety Town," a program designed to teach students to obey traffic rules. By moving around a large map spread out on the school playground, kids learned about adhering to road signs and traffic signals and how to cross streets at crosswalks.
"A lot of children don't realize the one-way sign is applicable to bicycles," Unruh said. "Most of the students here in Pottstown are pedestrian or bike traffic, so these are things that are very important for them to recognize and be safe on the streets."
Communities in Motion, a nonprofit foundation, presented the program with funding from a grant from the Pottstown Health and Wellness Foundation. Nearly 300 third-graders throughout the district's four elementary schools participated. The map and materials were given to the school district for use with future classes.
"The safer that we're able to make walking and biking, the more likely they are to use those healthier modes of transportation as opposed to just relying on cars," said Brean Flynn, manager of Communities in Motion.
Students clearly enjoyed the presentation as they moved around the map and simulated driving cars and riding bikes.
"One girl was driving her car down the sidewalk, another boy was driving the wrong way," Unruh said. "Their peers are recognizing that they were doing something wrong."
As for Zarreea, her ticketed offense left an impression.
"Pay attention to one-way signs," she said with a smile.