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A quick public service announcement from Newton’s Transportation Advisory Group!

Sunday November 3 marks the end of Daylight Saving Time. This change means that sunset, which is already sadly early, will now take place at 4:37PM. The earliest sunset happens on December 7 at 4:12PM, which is only a month away.

Such an early plunge into darkness has a real safety impact on families, particularly kids coming home from after-school programs and activities.

Please remind your kids and any adults who might be caring for them to be extra careful after school. For walkers, dress visibly, use marked crosswalks when possible, look before crossing streets, and don’t dart out into roads or parking lots. For bicyclists, use a white front light and rear red light or reflector (it’s the law!), be predictable, and wear bright or reflective clothing if possible. For drivers, be extra attentive for pedestrians and cyclists: drive slowly and look carefully at the dark corners of intersections and crosswalks in case pedestrians are waiting.

Also, as kids bundle up against New England’s winter winds, jacket and sweatshirt hoods can limit peripheral vision. Have them take an extra second of two to look down evening streets for cars and bikes approaching.

While we can’t make longer days and the warmth of spring come any faster, a little extra attention and care by everyone on the road can help us all get through winter safely.

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