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A mother and three childern were hit by a 24-year-old driver while they were crossing the street in a recently designated crosswalk after dropping off her other children at Hayden Park Elementary School in West Jordan, Utah about 8:35 a.m., as reported in the Salt Lake Tribune on August 13, 2009. The mother’s 4-year-old boy was reported to be in critical condition with extensive head injuries. The mother was pushing her 18-month-old toddler and a cousin’s 2-year-old daughter in a stroller. They were also hit, but luckily, only sustained minor injuries.

Police suspect that the driver may have been impaired by drugs or alcohol. This still needs to be confirmed. However, it raises once again the need for vigilence of both pedestrians and drivers in keeping a heightened awareness of the dangers of impaired drivers on the streets. As pointed out by many recent articles, drivers are considered impaired from many activities, including drinking, eating, applying makeup, changing radio/stereos, texting, and any other activities that divert the driver’s attention. Along with state DUI laws, texting in while driving in Utah and other states is now a crime that will earn you a ticket.

I hope that the injured family, and especially the young boy, recovers completely from these tragic injuries. Perhaps this unfortunate accident will provide the final motivation for city leaders in South Jordan to consider placement of a four-way stop at the area filled with school childeren and their families, something that the local neighbors have lobbied for, as pointed out in the article.

There should not be any tolerance for unsafe driving on city streets, particularly near schools. Impaired drivers, particularly drivers under the influence, should not be allowed to continue their risky behavior. This sad accident once again proves the point: Don’t drink or do drugs and drive. When driving, pay attention to the road in front of your vehicle!

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