Walk, Bike and Drive Safely To and From School

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Walk, Bike and Drive Safely To and From School

Posted: 08/13/2010
With students heading back to school next week, Knox County Health Department and the Knox County Safe Routes to School Partnership would like to remind everyone about the importance of walking, biking and driving safely to and from school. It's important for drivers to be vigilant about watching out for children, and for students to know how to be safe pedestrians and cyclists. Together, we all can help to ensure our students stay safe and healthy by following these safety tips:

Reminders for Motorists:
Slow down.
Observe the speed limit in school zones at all times.
Always expect the unexpected.
Be especially careful when driving on neighborhood streets and around school zones.
Be alert for children walking and biking as you back out of your driveway or leave your garage.
Watch for children on bicycles, especially at intersections.
Stop your car when you see lights flashing on a school bus.
Red flashing lights indicate the bus is stopped and students are getting on or off.
Don't start driving until the red lights stop flashing.
The area around the school bus is called the "Danger Zone" because it is where children are at greatest risk of being struck by another vehicle.
Be aware that a child may dash across the street.

Safety tips for Pedestrians:
Always walk on the sidewalk.
If there is no sidewalk and you have to walk along the road, always walk FACING traffic.
Wear bright colors to increase visibility.
Cross only at corners or marked crosswalks.
Before crossing, be sure to stop at the curb or the edge of the road, not in the street.
Walk in groups.
There is safety in numbers because groups are more likely to be seen by drivers.
Before crossing the street, stop and look left, then right, then left again.
If you see a car, wait until it goes by.
Then look left, right and left again until no cars are coming.

Safety Tips for Bicyclists:
Wear a helmet.
Be sure to have reflectors on your pedals, frame and wheels.
Be Seen – Be Aware – Be Predictable.
Follow the Rules of the Road – Ride on the right, with the traffic, in single file.
Obey stop signs and traffic lights.
Never cross a street without looking for cars.
Give the right-of-way to pedestrians in crosswalks.

The Knox County Safe Routes to School Partnership aims to create and promote walkable, bikeable, safe and healthy environments throughout Knox County. The Partnership is working to make walking and biking an easy and safe choice of transportation for students to utilize to and from school; and to encourage active transportation as a healthy and sustainable alternative to motorized vehicles. Remember Oct. 6 is International Walk to School Day. Contact your local Safe Routes to School Coordinator, Kevin Durand, at (865) 215-5612 for more information. Register and learn more about how to get started by visiting www.walktoschool.org.

Let's all keep safety a top priority throughout the school year!