Erin Murtaugh: Slow down and look out while on the road

Published 9:33 am Thursday, October 6, 2016

Erin Murtaugh is a nursing student at Rasmussen College in Mankato. She can be reached at

I love seeing children outside and being active. It makes me much happier when I see them out and about, rather than sitting inside on a cell phone, computer or in front of the television. However, in the past months, there is one thing that has been driving me crazy: safety.

Ever since Sophie Stultz was struck while riding her bike, I am so much more cautious as both a driver and a pedestrian. I really think a stop sign at the intersection could have quite possibly saved Sophie’s life. I hope that the whole community is more aware of traffic safety after this tragedy, as well.

Email newsletter signup

Something that I think needs to be addressed regarding safety is making sure your child knows the dos and don’ts of the road. For example, one evening I was on my way home from work, and I was headed west on Clark Street. Right in front of the Mayo Clinic parking lot, there were two very small children playing in the road. They were not on the side of the road, but in the middle. They were not running or riding bike. They were sitting in the middle of a busy road. It really upset me. These two children were probably 5 or 6 years old. All I could wonder was where their parents were, and why they thought it was OK to sit in the middle of the road to play.

A few days later, I was about a block away from home. I live close to Sibley Elementary School. It was right around when school gets out. I remember this day very well because there was some construction going on, and a little more traffic than usual. As I got closer to home, I noticed a bus had just dropped off a bunch of kids at the end of the street. There were kids darting in between cars, in the road and not at an intersection, and most definitely not paying attention to the cars around them. Had the drivers not been more attentive, those kids could have very well gotten hurt.

Parents, please sit down with your kids and remind them the importance of being safe in the road. Drivers, please slow down and be cautious to other cars, pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists around you. The world can be a much safer place if we all slow down and look out.