school safety

Students, parents, teachers and local community members are encouraged to celebrate International Walk to School Day on Wednesday, Oct. 2. The observance highlights the benefits of walking to school and raises awareness of the importance of children’s safety while walking or biking to school.

This year, more than 95 Ohio schools have registered their school for the event through a national database. See which schools have registered at www.walkbiketoschool.org

“Opportunities to walk to school improve student health, air quality, and community safety,” said Cait Harley, ODOT’s Safe Routes to School and Active Transportation Manager. “Drivers should slow down and look for students walking along and crossing the road near schools on this day and all days.”

ODOT's Safe Routes to School program ( http://www.dot.state.oh.us/Divisions/Planning/ProgramManagement/HighwaySafety/ActiveTransportation/Pages/SRTS.aspx?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery ) provides $4 million each year for building or improving sidewalks and crosswalks. The program also funds education and encouragement efforts.

Your Move Ohio, offers these safety tips.

Safety tips for motorists:

• Put your phone away.

• Slow down. Speed limits are the maximum.

• Yield to people walking at intersections and marked crosswalks. Every intersection is a crosswalk — painted or not.

• Don’t pass a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk.

• Give people biking at least 3 feet when passing. Bikes are vehicles and can legally use the full travel lane.

• Check for people walking and biking when making a turn.

• Look out for people walking and biking, especially outside of daylight hours and in the rain.

Safety tips for pedestrians:

• Cross at intersections or in marked crosswalks.

• Walk in the opposite direction of traffic. (Editor's Note: Cyclists, however, have to move in the same direction as traffic.) 

• Reflective clothing and lights can increase visibility.

Learn more, register an event and get involved with International Walk to School Day at walkbiketoschool.org

About Your Move Ohio

ODOT created Your Move Ohio (YourMove.ohio.gov) in response to a multi-year surge in fatal bicycle and pedestrian crashes and epidemic levels of chronic diseases — obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes — in the state. Its main goals are to encourage more Ohioans to choose active transportation and improve safety for everyone on Ohio’s roadways.

Details and free downloadable resources are available at YourMove.ohio.gov and on Facebook.com/YourMoveOhio. Share your active transportation story with the hashtag: #YourMoveOhio.

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