Iowa Safe Routes to School and the Iowa Bicycle Coalition would like everyone to keep an extra careful eye out for children walking or biking to school this year. Each new school year it seems, we hear of a young child being struck on their bike, or walking, trying to get to school. We all should take extra caution these first few weeks of the new school year. Take the time to look to your left, your right, and back left again, and then maybe, look one more time. Reduce your speeds in our communities, especially around schools – school zones are 20 mph. Children and parents alike, are getting back into the swing of things – trying out new routes and finding new ways to get to school. If we all take a few extra moments to be aware of our surroundings, we ALL can have a safe and wonderful school year! Heads up, drop your phones, and keep your eyes peeled.
Back to School safety tips!
1. Plan a walking route to school or the bus stop. Choose the most direct way with the fewest street crossings and, if possible, with intersections that have crossing guards. Walk the route with your child beforehand.
2. Teach your kids — whether walking, biking, or riding the bus to school — to obey all traffic signals, signs and traffic officers. Remind them to be extra careful in bad weather.
3. If your child bikes to school, make sure he wears a helmet that meets one of the safety standards (U.S. CPSC, Snell, ANSI, ASTM, or Canadian). Research indicates that a helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by up to 85 percent.
4. If your child rides a scooter to school, make sure they wear a helmet,kneepads and elbow pads.Children under age 12 should not ride motorized scooters, according to recent recommendations from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
5. If driving your child to school. Leave early for your destination, look twice, slow down, and take extra caution when children are present. We are all learning new traffic patterns this time of year, it pays to be extra cautious.
The Iowa Bicycle Coalition has led the Iowa Safe Routes to School encouragement and education programming since 2007. The Coalition is headquartered in Coralville, Iowa, and works across the state to encourage more kids to walk or ride bicycles to school. Contact Troy Carter directly for information on Walk to School Day, October 10th, at the Iowa Bicycle Coalition. Troy@IowaBicycleColaition.org Office: 515-309-2867