IMAGE: Walk to School Day 2014. (NC DOT)
Hamilton, NJ – On Wednesday, October 7, students across the country will participate in International Walk to School Day by walking or biking to school. In New Jersey there are 100 schools participating in registered events.
“Area drivers should utilize extra caution during the morning and afternoon commutes given the greater number of children and parents walking to schools for New Jersey Walk to School Day events,” said Tracy Noble, Manager of Public and Government Affairs.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “In 2013, 4,735 pedestrians were killed and an estimated 66,000 were injured in traffic crashes in the United States.” NHTSA reports, “Five percent of all pedestrian fatalities (236 of 4,735) and an estimated 15 percent of all pedestrians injured (10,000 of 66,000 after rounding) were children 14 and younger.”
Initiated in the U.S. in 1997 by the Partnership for a Walkable America, the events build awareness for the need for walkable communities and promote health and safely. In 2014, 4,783 events were recorded across the country.
Safe Walking Tips from the Mid-Atlantic Foundation for Safety and Education and AAA Mid-Atlantic:
Go directly to or from your destination using the safest route. Cross at corners.
Cooperate with police, crossing guards and school safety patrols.
Learn and obey all traffic signals.
WALK across streets. Allow yourself plenty of time. Continue to look for approaching vehicles.
Stop, look and listen and watch for turning vehicles.
If you must walk on a road that has no sidewalks, walk facing traffic and as far from the road as possible.
Be extra alert in bad weather. Drivers have trouble seeing and stopping in bad weather.
If you must walk in the dark, wear reflective or light colored clothing and carry a flashlight.
Stay alert. Don't assume that cars are going to stop.