Gainesville Daily Register

Local News

June 26, 2012

Drivers warned to look out for children playing in streets

Gainesville — Staff members at a Gainesville pharmacy were startled Tuesday to see a young child playing in the street outside their Grand Avenue business.

The little boy who is around six years old and reportedly has a form of autism spectrum disorder was eventually reunited with his family but Hometown Pharmacy employee Kelly Tischler said she’s afraid the child and other local kids could be seriously injured if motorists aren’t warned to look out for them.

“I wish I could just put out a bulletin warning drivers about children playing in the street,” Tischler said, adding she often sees youngsters on her daily commute crossing the street and darting around parked vehicles.

She said she knows most children can quickly slip out of their parents’ sight but hopes to make motorists aware children might cross their paths.

“This little boy wasn’t thinking about traffic danger,” she said. “He had no idea he could be hit by a car. He was just playing.”

Gainesville Police Department Sgt. Bobby Balthrop said kids seeking entertainment on long summer days don’t always put safety first.

“Kids will be out playing, engrossed in what they’re doing whether it’s playing ball or riding a bike and they sometimes won’t pay attention. It’s up to motorists to look out for them. Kids aren’t always aware of the dangers,” he said.

Information on the consumer safety site states the average number of children ages 14 and under killed in pedestrian accidents has averaged 355 per year since 2000.

Besides city streets and rural roadways, driveways, parking lots and sidewalks are also dangerous areas for young pedestrians.

The site noted 42 percent of child pedestrian deaths happen between 4 p.m. and 7:59 p.m.

Information on child safety can be found at


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