Wednesday, October 9, 2013 is International Walk & Roll to School Day. This tradition began with Safe Routes to Schools in Marin County several years ago and has grown into an international phenomenon. All of Mill Valley’s public schools will be participating with students walking and biking to school. Safe Routes to Schools (SR2S) is designed to decrease traffic and pollution and increase the health of children and the community. SR2S promotes walking and biking to school, using education and incentives to show how much fun it can be. The program addresses parents’ safety concerns by educating children and the public, partnering with traffic law enforcement and developing plans to create safer streets. Whether your children are walking, being driven, or riding a bicycle there are a few tips to ensure they are as safe as possible.
If kids are walking:
• Map out a safe route to school and walk it with your child for a few days so they become familiar with the way.
• Make sure your child crosses at intersections where there is a crossing guard.
• Have children wear bright clothing that can be seen by drivers.
Riding or driving in the car:
• Everyone wears their seat belt and use age-appropriate child care seat/booster seat.
• If you have a teenage driver, remind them of safe driving, use of seat belts and cell phone restrictions.
On a bicycle:
• Make sure they wear a helmet.
• Teach them to ride in the same directions as traffic, on the right side of the road.
• Explain the “rules of the road” and to obey all traffic signs and signals.
• Put your child in bright clothing to increase visibility to drivers.
Tips for driving in a school zone (especially during drop-off and dismissal times):
• Slow down. The simplest thing any driver can do when there are new driving hazards is slow down.
• Allow more time. As a new school year begins allow yourself more time to get where you are going until you can figure out the effects of increased traffic.
• Stay alert. School is back in session, be aware.
• Learn the rules. Schools usually have places for parents to drop off and pick up children. If you are driving your child to school learn where these areas are and follow the procedures.
• Never block pick and drop off areas.
• Yield to pedestrians. Remember to yield to children/parents in crosswalks. When a pedestrian is in a crosswalk they have the right-of-way.
• Carpool. If at all possible carpool with other parents to pick up and drop off children.
• Talk with teen drivers. Remind your teen drivers about the importance of being extra careful in and around school zones.