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Students at Orenco and Quatama elementary schools 'graduate' from safety program

CITY OF HILLSBORO COURTESY PHOTO - Hillsboro Mayor Steve Callaway helped congraduate elementary school students on completing a pedestrian safety program.City and school district officials are taking a proactive approach to sidewalk safety, hoping to avoid accidents by training kids to be aware of their surroundings.

"The kids hit most often are not real tall," said Hillsboro Public Works Department spokesperson Lindsay Wochnick. "It's hard to see them in parking lots and driveways, and we're teaching them how to make their presence known."

Hillsboro Mayor Steve Callaway was on hand on Dec. 6 to celebrate completion of a Safe Routes to School program with 60 students from Orenco and Quatama elementary schools. During the after-school program, students learned how to safely cross at crosswalks and how to be seen in parking lots, sidewalks and driveways.

The program was paid for by a Oregon DOT grant, administered through the city of Hillsboro. According to Wochnick, pedestrian crashes are the most common fatality in Hillsboro — including a crash in which a man was killed on Southwest Tualatin Valley Highway in September.

"Providing pedestrian education through [Safe Routes to School] supports the City's intuitive to strive to reduce fatal and severe crashes to zero," Wochnick said.

Five additional schools will hold training programs for 250 students in April.

John William Howard
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