Monday, 12 April 2021

Oct. 2 is National Walk to School Day; hundreds of California schools participating

The California Office of Traffic Safety, or OTS, is supporting efforts from schools across the state that are participating in National Walk to School Day Oct. 2.

The national event highlights the health benefits of walking to school and the need for safe places for students to walk and bike to school.

OTS’ partners with the California Highway Patrol, along with many local law enforcement agencies, will be working with schools, parents and caretakers to make sure students walking or biking are getting to class safely.

This includes helping crossing guards and reminding drivers to look for children crossing the street, especially near schools during morning pick-up and drop-off times.

“Creating a safe environment for children to get to and from school is important in every community,” OTS Director Barbara Rooney said.

“It allows students to utilize alternative transportation options that make going to school an enjoyable experience.”

When walking or biking to school, the OTS reminds parents and guardians of important safety tips to teach children when they are on the go:

• Look left-right-left before crossing the street. Continue looking for cars as you cross.

• Use crosswalks whenever possible, preferably at stop signs or signals.

• Make eye contact with drivers. Make sure they see you before crossing the street.

• Walk with friends or a group.

• Avoid using a cell phone or listening to music while walking.

Schools nationwide have been promoting walking to school as an alternative to driving since 1997.

The annual event is intended to raise awareness about traffic safety around schools and encourage neighborhood connectivity.

To see which schools are participating, visit http://www.walkbiketoschool.org/. More than 400 schools throughout California are signed up this year for Walk to School Day events.

The OTS administers funding for traffic safety programs statewide with the goal of reducing crashes that result in deaths, injuries, and economic losses.

The OTS is a department under the California State Transportation Agency.

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