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PARENTS 

School Patrol kids Are you concerned with the safety of your child and other students walking and biking to school?  Do you want to make a difference in the lives of students by promoting healthy habits?  Being involved in a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program is an opportunity to help:

  • enhance health and well-being
  • ease traffic congestion near the school
  • improve air quality and improve community members’ overall quality of life.

Getting Involved

Some activities you can organize at your child’s school to help students learn more about the importance of walking and biking to school include:

  • Walking School Bus - an organized way for children to walk to school under the supervision of responsible adults. One or more adults walk with the children along a fixed route, adding children to the group at stops along the way to school.
  • Walk to School Day - a designated day in which students are encouraged to walk to school when and where it is safe to do so (e.g., International Walk to School Day).
  • Park and Walk - by determining a safe location off school grounds for students to meet, or get dropped by parents, traffic is kept away from the school grounds and students can then be escorted to school by parent or faculty volunteers.
  • Bicycle Rodeo - a clinic that teaches children the importance of riding a bicycle safely, including the skills they need to develop and the precautions to take to have a safe and enjoyable time on their bicycles.
  • Bike Train - like a walking school bus, a parent leads a group of children along a safe fixed route and picks up other cyclists along the way.
  • Additional Programs - check out these  additional programs that can be implemented at your child’s school to encourage more walkers and bikers and to educate students on safe walking and biking behaviors. 

More Ways to Get Involved with Your Child’s School

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

  • Make sure you click on the box above to receive the “Safe Routes News” newsletter for information about the SRTS program, safe walking/biking behaviors, etc.
  • Feel free to include any of this information in your school/PTA/neighborhood association newsletters
  • Coordinate and participate in Walk to School Day, Bike to School Day, and other encouragement programs. Encouragement programs can include a morning mile/walk, bike rodeos, mileage clubs, walking school bus, park and walk.
  • Picture of young happy kids close-up
  • Ensure that there are health, fitness, and wellness policies which address Safe Routes to School in your school documents
  • Encourage SRTS programs at your school
    • Talk with your school principal about the program and its importance
    • Contact the Montgomery County Safe Routes to School Coordinator for a packet of information that you can present to school staff. You can find contact information at the end of this section.
  • Form your own Safe Routes to School group. There are lots of ways to create a group around Safe Routes to School:
    • Create an outreach committee - Collect input from parents, teachers and students, and publicize the program to the school and community.
    • Education and encouragement activities committee - Work closely with school administration and teachers to put education and encouragement activities in place, gather materials for activities and solicit donations for programming and prizes
    • Traffic safety committee - Identify unsafe drivers' behavior and develop an education campaign to increase awareness
  • For more information on any of the listed activities above and to volunteer with the Montgomery County Safe Routes to School program, please contact Nadji Kirby, 240-777-7169 or  Nadji.kirby@montgomerycountymd.gov.

 

Safe Routes to School Program Guide

Become a Safe Routes to School Ambassador

 

Safety Tips

Teaching children the necessary safety skills is critical to help keep kids safe as they walk and bike to school. As a parent, you have the most influence over how your children behave on their way to school. Here are some safety guidelines every parent should know:

  1. Children under 10 years of age should not be crossing streets without adult supervision.
  2. If your kids will be walking to school on their own, go with them the first few times. This way, you can identify dangers, point them out to your children, and direct your children to the safest possible route.
  3. When it comes to crossing streets, children need to be aware of all the different ways cars can cross their path. Explain the rules of the road and give them real-life examples while you're out walking together.
  4. Explain how traffic signals work. Make sure your children know how important it is to cross streets at the appropriate times and in the appropriate places.
  5. If your kids are biking, make sure their bikes are the appropriate size and have fully operational brakes, chains, and reflectors.
  6. A child should have a certified bike helmet and know how to wear it properly.
  7. If your kids are old enough to ride their bikes with traffic, teach them hand signals. Keep in mind that kids younger than 10 years old should always ride on the sidewalks.
  8. Tell your kids how to deal with strangers and safe places to go if they need help on their route to school.
  9. Walk and bike with your child often. Remember, they'll follow the example that you set for them. Show them that physical activity is an important (and fun) part of life. You'll also be showing them how to walk and bike safely!
 

 

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