Walking to school is a fun, easy way to add exercise to the day, but it’s important to stay safe on your way there.
Safety tips to follow on a walk to school include:
- Parents should plan a safe route
- Don’t take shortcuts
- Young children should walk with an adult
- Older students should walk with a friend
- Don’t push, shove, or chase each other when near the street
- Don’t take rides from people if it wasn’t arranged by a parent
- Wear bright-colored clothes
- Watch for cars at every driveway and intersection
Crossing the street
With cars turning the corner to drivers not paying close attention, it can be hard for children to cross the street. The best rules to follow:
- Stop at the curb or edge of the street.
- Look left, right, left, behind you, and in front of you for traffic, and don’t cross until the coast is clear.
- Keep looking for traffic until you are done crossing.
Why Walk to School Day?
Communities and schools use Walk (or Bike) to School Day as an opportunity to teach children and families about positive steps to live a healthier life.
Walking to school gives students—and parents if they join in—a regularly scheduled exercise period.
Walking to school instead of getting there in the family car reduces air pollution. Personal vehicles taking students to school accounted for 10 percent to 14 percent of all personal vehicle trips during morning peak commute times, according to a 2011 National Center for Safe Routes to School report.
As more people walk, communities, schools, and drivers become more aware of safe practices and often notice where safety needs to be improved—and making those changes benefits everyone. Plus, more people out in the neighborhood builds a sense of community.
Families save gas money, communities save wear and tear on roads, and schools might eventually be able to spend less on transportation.