Walk to school day is October 6 and many schools in our area have scheduled events. During walk to school day, groups of school children across the country will be walking and biking to school. That is why we want to remind drivers to be patient and watch out for the little ones throughout the week of October 4th to the 8th and especially between 7-8AM and 3-4PM. Here are some tips to share the road with young pedestrians:
- Stop and yield to pedestrians at crosswalks or intersections
- Stop in a school zone crosswalk when flashers are blinking
- Be extra careful to look for children in school zones and residential areas
- Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians
- Respect the speed limit in school zones and in residential areas
- Watch for children coming from driveways or behind parked cars
- Check your side mirrors before opening your door in case there are children biking close by
- Adjust your route to avoid school zones
- Slow Down!
Here are some safety tips for young pedestrians:
- Cross only at marked crosswalks
- Wave to drivers when crossing the street to make yourself visible
- Look, left, right, and then left again before crossing
- Stop at driveways and check if a car is pulling out
- Stay close to your walking group/bus
If you are a parent who would like to have your child join a walking group, you can download the NJ Walking School Bus app and either join or create a walking group. The NJ Walking School Bus app allows parents to easily create and plan walks to and from school. Parents in New Jersey can search for existing walking groups by school name, city, and group name, or create walking groups and invite neighbors to join. Parents can select a parent leader to walk with students to and from school. The parent leader will be in charge of starting and ending the walk and alert parents when students have arrived safely at school. Parents, who are not leading the walk, can track the walk progress on the app map. The app also calculates the miles walked and reduction in CO2 emissions for the group.
The app can also be used creatively by parents or teachers with children learning virtually– for encouraging walking/physical activity, estimating and measuring actual distance walked and seeing the positive environmental impact of walking instead of driving.
The app is free and can be used throughout New Jersey. Schools, parents, Transportation Management Associations, and other organizations interested in using the app, can contact our SRTS Coordinator for more information and shared resources.