The Montgomery County Safe Routes to School program provides Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, Engineering, and Evaluation (5 E’s) to support all students. Families, faculty, and others in the school and neighborhood can join your school’s Safe Routes to School program. Together you will work on walking and biking education, promotion, and identifying safe ways to get to school.
Why have a Safe Routes to School program?
- Nationally 50% of children hit by cars near schools are hit by cars driven by parents of other students
- Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for people between 4-34 years
- Nationally 61% of children aged 9-13 years of age do not participate in any physical activity outside of school
The Safe Routes to School program has identified the following strategies for reducing traffic, improving air quality, and increasing the number of students walking and biking to school:
Education – Provides students the skills and information they need to be safe pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicle passengers.
Encouragement – Safe Routes to School provides training opportunities, information, and materials to promote walking and biking more frequently.
Enforcement – Increases awareness and reduces the frequency of traffic safety problems through a partnership with the Montgomery County Police Department.
- School speed zone and crossing enforcement
- Reinforcement of engineering improvements
- Response to school safety requests
Engineering – Improves walk, bike, and school bus locations for increased safety around schools. School principals can identify concerns and get help with problems such as unauthorized drop-off and pick-up areas, road crossings, speeding traffic, and other traffic issues. The Safe Routes to School traffic engineers work year round to improve safety near schools by changing and building safety features. Most improvements have been identified by your school’s Safe Routes to School team or other community-led approach.
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.
Creating a Safe Routes to School Program
Starting a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program is an opportunity to make walking and bicycling to school safer for children and to increase the number of children who choose to walk and bicycle. On a broader level, SRTS programs can enhance children’s health and well-being, ease traffic congestion near the school, improve air quality and improve community members’ overall quality of life. Use the SRTS guide and watch the video to help you create a program at your school.