Pedestrian injuries surge in summer. Watch out for children, Highland police warn

After an incident of a child struck by a car, Highland Police are reminding all residents to exercise caution as the summer months approach.

Highland Police reminded motorists, parents and children alike that schools are letting out for the summer and warm, sunny weather means children running outside.

“Be mindful of your actions, either behind the wheel, motorcycle, bicycle or crossing the roadways,” the alert read. “Our goal is to keep everyone safe, but we cannot do it alone. Remember to slow down and look both ways while crossing the street.”

The alert was issued “in light of recent motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians.”

Highland Police Chief Carole Presson clarified that there was an incident involving a child, but said she could not release any more specific information because of the age of the child. She did add that there were no serious injuries, but the department wanted to run a public service announcement for the good of the community.

SafeKids Worldwide did a study on child pedestrian injuries in 2019 and found that there were more than 15,000 child pedestrian injuries that year, of which 359 were fatal. While the rate of pedestrian deaths among children has decreased by 67% from 1994 to 2019, boys make up two-thirds of the fatal injuries and Black children are more than twice as likely to die than white children. The highest rates were among children older than 12, and 69% occurred in the road at a non-intersection location.

Elsewhere in the metro-east, tragedy has already struck. A 15-year-old was killed and his 13-year-old passenger was injured when a motorcycle failed to stop at an intersection and struck a pickup truck in Richland County on Monday, according to the Illinois State Police.