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Safe Routes to School for Parents

Teaching Children to Walk Safely

Each child grows and develops differently so it is impractical to expect all children to demonstrate a specific ability at a specific age. This guide leads parents and caregivers through stages of child development and identifies which walking safety skills to teach along the way. 


The 5E’s of the Safe Routes to School program

One of the cornerstones of Safe Routes to School is the acknowledgement that safer walking and biking routes can best be accomplished through a combination of infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects and programs. These are known collectively as the "5 Es": Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, Engineering, and Evaluation:

  1. Education – MCDOT staff educates elementary and middle school students and parents and guardians on pedestrian and bicycle safety.  Walking and bicycling maps can be developed for participating schools.
  2. Encouragement – MCDOT organizes an annual county-wide Walk to School Day, bike rodeos and other activities and events to promote health, safety, and physical activity.
  3. Enforcement – The Montgomery County Police enforce traffic laws at and around identified schools.
  4. Engineering – MCDOT identifies walking and bicycling barriers and may help with sign and crosswalk markings, installing traffic signs, curb extensions, etc.
  5. Evaluation – MCDOT analyzes how school children get to and from school, as well as parents’ knowledge and attitude towards walking and bicycling to make sure the program is effective. 

How Do I Get Involved?

There are many ways to get involved with SRTS and increasing the efforts to keep our children safe.  You can:

Encourage SRTS programs at your school

  1. Talk with your school principal about the program and its importance
  2. Contact the Montgomery County Safe Routes to School Coordinator for a packet of information that you can present to school staff

Form your own Safe Routes group

There's more than one way to create a group around Safe Routes to School:

Newsletters/Emails

  1. Make sure you are signed up to receive the “Safe Routes News” newsletter for information about the SRTS program, safe walking/biking behaviors, etc.  Feel free to  add any of this information in your school/PTA/neighborhood association newsletters  To receive the quarterly newsletter, please email nadji.kirby@montgomerycountymd.gov with your full name, email address, and phone number. 
  2. Coordinate and participate in Walk to School Day and other encouragement programs
  3. Encouragement programs can include a morning mile/walk, bike rodeos, mileage clubs, walking school bus, park and walk
  4. Contact the Montgomery County Safe Routes to School Coordinator for more information on encouragement programs

Ensure that there are health, fitness, and wellness policies which address Safe Routes to School in your school documents


Resources

Safety Tips

One key factor in keeping kids safe as they walk and bike to school is teaching them the necessary safety skills. As a parent, you have the most influence on how your children behave on their way to school. Here are some safety guidelines every parent should know:

 

     

 

For any MCDOT service request or complaint, call 311
When dialing outside of the county, call 240-777-0311 or submit via their website.

For website comments or to report website problems or broken links, please email us. This email address does not handle service requests or complaints.

 Director's Office · Montgomery County Department of Transportation
101 Monroe Street, 10th Floor · Rockville, Maryland 20850 · mcdot.director@montgomerycountymd.gov
· telephone: 240-777-7170 · fax: 240-777-7178 ·