Today, Oct. 5th, is International Walk to School Day and we’re asking everyone to help spread the word about how we can all chip in to help reduce pedestrian accidents in Alabama.
Every year since its launch in 1997 in Chicago, cities in the U.S. have participated in this campaign that raises awareness about the dangers pedestrians face daily and helping to make our roads safer. Back then it was called National Walk Our Children to School Day and held exclusively in the U.S. It has since gone international. In 2005, the event helped to pass legislation that has authorized more than $600 million to states that needed funding to construct safe roadways. There have been nearly 12,000 schools in each of the 50 states that have received some of the funds to conduct their own Walk to School Day.
Our Montgomery pedestrian accident attorneys understand how beneficial an event like this can be for residents across the state. Not only does the campaign raise awareness about pedestrian safety, but it is also a good opportunity for parents and children to go out for a heart-healthy walk. Additionally, it helps to raise awareness about the need for safer roadways. For many cities, International Walk to School Day results in fewer vehicles on the road, which in turn helps to minimize pollution.
Schools that are participating in this year’s campaign in Montgomery:
-Chisholm Elementary School
-Floyd Elementary School
-G. W. Carver Elementary School
-Highland Gardens Elementary School
-Seth Johnson Elementary School
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were approximately 1,300 pedestrians under the age of 15 who were killed in traffic-related accidents in the U.S. in 2009. Another 179,000 of these young pedestrians were injured. Child pedestrian accidents accounted for nearly 5 percent of all traffic-related fatalities that year.
The statistics mean that nearly 500 child pedestrians were injured and nearly 5 child pedestrians were killed every single day on U.S. roadways.
Parents are urged to talk to children about the benefits and about the dangers of walking in our community. Children should get out and walk for a number of reasons. Walking increases self-confidence, fitness and responsibility. Don’t send your child outdoors without the proper safety tips though. Teaching children safe pedestrian habits early on will help to keep them safe and injury-free on our roadways.
Parents are urged to talk to children about the importance of looking both ways before crossing the street, wearing light-colored clothing during evening hours, and making eye contact with drivers before crossing.
Here are more child pedestrian safety tips that you are urged to discuss with your child. These habits can turn into lifelong skills and can even be used to save your child’s life one day.
“Our school intends to use this event as a kick-off to establishing better walking and biking habits for our students,” says Cheryl Coprich, the principal at Floyd Elementary School.