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It's International Walk to School Day!

October 3, 2012 8:20 am
Written by: Odile Fredericks

Are your children taking part in International Walk to School Day today? Across North Carolina, students at 60 elementary schools are walking or biking to school Oct. 3 to raise global awareness of the benefits of exercise and to promote safer routes to walk or bike.

They'll be among 3,300 U.S. schools taking part in the day supported by the National Center for Safe Routes to School. The center's federally funded programs now operate in 50 states and Washington, D.C. with the goal of improving safety on walking and bicycling routes to school. To see which schools in your county or town are participating, visit the International Walk to School Day website.

As the Triangle's population grows and traffic gets more congested, finding safe routes for biking and walking—whether to school, work or recreation—is a growing challenge. As a parent, I caution my children to be extra careful when walking or riding. I see many drivers not yielding to pedestrians on crosswalks and driving too close to bicyclists. I've noticed some drivers in cars turning right do not yield to pedestrians on the crosswalk, but I was still surprised to discover that more than 75 people are hit each year in the Triangle by cars turning at intersections. This statistic comes from The N.C. Department of Transportation's Watch for Me NC campaign website, where you'll find a list of pedestrian safety tips worth sharing with your kids, especially with tweens and teens, who are often out alone. Simple tips—like watching for turning cars even when you have the "walk" signal, and wearing reflective clothing or carrying a light at night— could save a life.

It's an effort worth pursuing in North Carolina, where each year about 2,200 pedestrians are involved in police-reported crashes with motor vehicles in North Carolina. Between 150 and 200 people in these accidents are killed, and an additional 500 are seriously injured.

But drivers are not always at fault; sometimes distracted pedestrians—such as those who don't use crosswalks or are talking on cellphones—are the cause, according to according to highway safety researchers at the University of North Carolina, who spoke with WRAL.com. So tell your kids to ditch the cell phone while walking, follow the rules of the road, and most of all, stay alert, whether they're walking, biking or driving.

Find more school news in our Back to School Guide and more fun for kids, including pumpkin patches, hayrides and Halloween events, in our Fall Guide to the Triangle.



Are your children taking part in International Walk to School Day today? Across North Carolina, students at 60 elementary schools are walking or biking to school Oct. 3 to raise global awareness of the benefits of exercise and to promote safer routes to walk or bike.

They'll be among 3,300 U.S. schools taking part in the day supported by the National Center for Safe Routes to School. The center's federally funded programs now operate in 50 states and Washington, D.C. with the goal of improving safety on walking and bicycling routes to school. To see which schools in your county or town are participating, visit the International Walk to School Day website.

As the Triangle's population grows and traffic gets more congested, finding safe routes for biking and walking—whether to school, work or recreation—is a growing challenge. As a parent, I caution my children to be extra careful when walking or riding. I see many drivers not yielding to pedestrians on crosswalks and driving too close to bicyclists. I've noticed some drivers in cars turning right do not yield to pedestrians on the crosswalk, but I was still surprised to discover that more than 75 people are hit each year in the Triangle by cars turning at intersections. This statistic comes from The N.C. Department of Transportation's Watch for Me NC campaign website, where you'll find a list of pedestrian safety tips worth sharing with your kids, especially with tweens and teens, who are often out alone. Simple tips—like watching for turning cars even when you have the "walk" signal, and wearing reflective clothing or carrying a light at night— could save a life.

It's an effort worth pursuing in North Carolina, where each year about 2,200 pedestrians are involved in police-reported crashes with motor vehicles in North Carolina. Between 150 and 200 people in these accidents are killed, and an additional 500 are seriously injured.

But drivers are not always at fault; sometimes distracted pedestrians—such as those who don't use crosswalks or are talking on cellphones—are the cause, according to according to highway safety researchers at the University of North Carolina, who spoke with WRAL.com. So tell your kids to ditch the cell phone while walking, follow the rules of the road, and most of all, stay alert, whether they're walking, biking or driving.

Find more school news in our Back to School Guide and more fun for kids, including pumpkin patches, hayrides and Halloween events, in our Fall Guide to the Triangle.


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