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Editorial: Watch for kids with school under way

School is back in session this week in Farmington and Rosemount, which means students are out again in large numbers. They’re walking and biking to school and waiting for buses along city streets.

That’s true these days more than ever. Schools have made an increased effort in recent years to encourage students to bike or walk to school. Red Pine Elementary in particular has made a point of getting kids away from buses or parent transportation by setting up special days where students can bike or walk to school.

That’s a good thing. Getting to school under their own power is a good way for students to get a little extra exercise in their day. That’s good for their overall health, and study after study has shown it helps them focus in the classroom as well.

Walking traffic will be down to start the year at Meadowview Elementary as construction work continues on 195th Street, but that’s a temporary roadblock.

There are other parts to this equation, though. More students biking and walking means more students on the sidewalks and streets over the next few months, at least until winter really sets in. With the sun coming up later every day, that will mean kids walking in less-than-ideal lighting conditions.

Schools take precautions to make students out of harm’s way, obviously. They send out crossing guards and teach students about being safe on the way to school. But kids are still kids. They’re not always going to do exactly what they’re supposed to.

The burden for that falls on drivers.

All of which means it’s time for drivers to be extra careful. You already shouldn’t be texting while you drive, obviously. That’s doubly true now. Pay attention. Obey the speed limit. Watch for kids.

We’ll all be happier if you do.