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Ohio to celebrate International Walk to School Day
Ohio to celebrate International Walk to School Day

Students, parents, teachers and local community members are encouraged to celebrate International Walk to School Day on Wednesday, October 2nd. The observance highlights the benefits of walking to school and raises awareness of the importance of children’s safety while walking or biking to school.

This year, more than 95 Ohio schools have registered their school for the event through a national database. See which schools have registered at www.walkbiketoschool.org.

“Opportunities to walk to school improve student health, air quality, and community safety,” said Cait Harley, ODOT’s Safe Routes to School and Active Transportation Manager. “Drivers should slow down and look for students walking along and crossing the road near schools on this day and all days.”

ODOT's Safe Routes to School program provides $4 million each year for building or improving sidewalks and crosswalks. The program also funds education and encouragement efforts.

Your Move Ohio offers these time change safety tips.

For motorists:

  • Slow down: During the early morning and evening hours, more time is needed to see pedestrians. Increase the recommended safe distances. The more space, the more time there is to react. Slow down during rain and fog too.
  • Always stop: for pedestrians crossing the street. Do not pass vehicles stopped at crosswalks.
  • Be extra cautious: Decreased visibility calls for more vigilant driving. Watch for bicyclists and pedestrians in neighborhoods and along school bus routes, at intersections and when backing out of driveways.
  • Be seen: Turn on headlights to be more visible during early morning and evening hours.
  • Eliminate distractions: Put away the phone and change the time on vehicle clocks before starting to drive.
  • Beware of glare: Clean windshields inside and out. Dirty windshields can magnify glare. Do not use high beams when other cars or pedestrians are around.

For pedestrians:

  • See and been seen: Reflective clothing and lights can increase visibility. Use bike lights outside of daylight hours and in the rain.
  • Cross consciously: Cross at intersections or in marked crosswalks.
  • Walk left: Walk in the opposite direction of traffic.
  • Ride right: Ride in the direction of traffic. Follow traffic signs and lights.
  • Be aware: Avoid distractions and make eye contact with drivers when crossing streets.

About Your Move Ohio

ODOT created Your Move Ohio in response to a multi-year surge in fatal bicycle and pedestrian crashes and epidemic levels of chronic diseases – obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes – in the state. Its main goals are to encourage more Ohioans to choose active transportation and improve safety for everyone on Ohio’s roadways.

Details and free downloadable resources are available at the program's website and on Facebook.com/YourMoveOhio. Share your active transportation story with the hashtag: #YourMoveOhio.