Only 13 percent of children walk or bicycle to school, down from almost 50 percent in 1969.
Why Safe Routes to School?
Increase physical activity and improve health Studies show that children who walk and bicycle to school are more physically active, have lower body mass index scores, and lower obesity levels than students who are driven or bused to school.
Reduce traffic congestion 10-14 percent of morning traffic is parents driving their kids to school.
Improve air quality Traffic is a major source of air pollution. Children exposed to traffic pollution are more likely to have asthma, permanent lung deficits, and a higher risk of heart and lung problems as adults.
Improve safety 30 percent of traffic deaths for children ages 0-14 happen when children are walking and bicycling. A safety analysis by the California Department of Transportation estimated that the safety benefit of the Safe Routes to School was up to a 49 percent decrease in the childhood bicycle and pedestrian collision rates.
Improve safety for all children Children from low-income families are twice as likely to walk to school as children from higher-income families. Low-income children also have a higher risk of being injured or killed as pedestrians.
Parents tell us that the walk or bicycle trip to school is one of the only times when their children really talk to them.
Students focus better they tell us themselves in this video featuring Fairfax County Public Schools Wolftrap Elementary student.
Learn more about and register for the first Safe Routes to School regional meeting!