Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Safe Routes for Children in Austin

As I was driving to work this morning, I heard a commerical on the radio for Safe Routes Austin.  Sponsored by the City of Austin, this program promotes safe routes for children walking and biking to school and outlines ways that parents, educators and drivers can work together to protect children while they are commuting.  What a great program that could have far-reaching impacts on the community!

Below are a few of the highlights from the Safer Routes iWalk/iBike Website.  Check out their website for more details:


Take time to walk or bike with your child to school today! 
- The Austin Safe Route To School Project encourages you to slow down and spend the moments that matter with those who matter most: your children!
- Walking or biking to school with your child gives you a few extra moments to spend together each day.
- You are also being physically active, creating a safer community, and reducing the traffic and pollution around your neighborhood.

Tips for walking and biking to school safely with your child:
- Always role-model safe behaviors such as walking on the sidewalk, crossing at a crosswalk or a corner, wearing bright colors, looking both ways before crossing, and wearing a bicycle helmet when riding.
- Teach your child safe behaviors when you walk or bike to school together. Ask your child what they are supposed to do when they come to the end of the sidewalk or what they need to wear to be visible to motorists. Walking or biking to school together can be a fun activity that also teaches your child skills they need to stay safe.
- Walk in groups with other parents and children. A group of people is always more visible than two people.


We need your help to make Austin safer for children to walk and bike to school!
- Try to avoid school zones between 6:30 AM and 9:00 AM as well as 2:00 PM to 4:30 PM.
- When driving through neighborhoods or school zones follow all traffic laws and be patient! Speeding and other traffic violations in a school zone can cost you up to $600.
- Do not stop or park in a pedestrian crosswalk. It is safest to stop a few feet before the stop sign and look for people who may be crossing.
- Use your turn signals and be cautious when turning onto another street. Children may not see you when they are trying to cross the street.

RESOURCES:National Center for Safe Routes to School:

SRTS Online Guide:

Walking School Bus Guide:

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