On October 9, 2013, International Walk to School Day will bring more than 40 countries together to walk to school on the same day. Thousands of schools and communities across America and right here in Georgia participate in this global event every year. While International Walk to School Day only occurs one day throughout the year, it has led to a movement for year-round pedestrian safety and many safer school routes—helping child pedestrians stay active and safer.
This event began in the USA in 1997, as a way to bring awareness for walkable communities. As these events over the years have been a success, there has been continued interest in making communities and school zones safer so that more child pedestrians are able to walk to school safely.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 15,000 children ages 15 and younger were injured in pedestrian accidents in 2009, which is why every city, neighborhood, and school zone should place priority on walking to school safely.
International Walk to School Day Prioritizes Pedestrian Safety in Georgia, Too
This event helps communities in Georgia in three ways, including:
- Identifies hazards and issues along school routes that need to be repaired
- Helps drivers remember to look for children and to yield to pedestrians
- Teaches children about safe walking tips
Even if all the safety problems on routes to schools have been fixed and children are walking safely to school, Georgia pedestrian accidents and injuries can still occur. Unfortunately, many drivers are not looking out for children—even in school zones—which is why this event reminds drivers to drive safely around pedestrians, especially children walking to school.
While drivers are being reminded of school zone safety, schools and parents should use this time to remind children of the following walking tips:
- Always look both ways before crossing a street
- Cross the street only at a marked crosswalk
- Cross the street where there is a school crossing guard, if possible
- Have younger children walk with an adult
- Walk with a friend or in groups
- Walk the route parents picked out
- Never push someone else near traffic
If your child has suffered a Georgia pedestrian injury due to a negligent driver, please contact Shane Smith Law to discuss your potential case with a skilled Peachtree City pedestrian accident attorney at 770.487.8999 in a free legal consultation.