Courtesy Nevada Department of Transportation
Many Nevada schoolchildren will take part in organized events to walk or bicycle to school on Oct. 10 in recognition of International Walk to School Day. Children not taking part in an organized school event are encouraged to involve their family in safely walking or bicycling to school on Oct. 10 and other days.
Walking and bicycling to school events are planned for Washoe, Carson City, Clark, Douglas, Lyon and other counties. Approximately 50 Nevada schools in 13 different communities participated in last year’s Walk to School Day as part of ongoing activities to promote walking and bicycling throughout the year.
“Whether as part of an organized event or not, this is an opportunity to help children learn more about pedestrian and bicycling safety,” NDOT Assistant Chief of Multi-Modal Planning and Program Development Bill Story explained. “And, whether it’s for International Walk to School Day or part of a daily routine, physical activity at an early age, such as walking or bicycling, helps reduce heart disease, diabetes and other obesity-related illnesses. Plus, walking or biking to school can lessen up to 25 percent of morning rush hour traffic that results from children being driven to school.”
During International Walk to School Day and every day, drivers should watch for children walking and bicycling to school and be mindful of school zone speed reductions, as well as varying school start times. Motorists should also only pass bicyclists when it is safe with at least three feet of space between the bicycle and vehicle and never overtake a vehicle that has stopped at a crosswalk. Pedestrians and bicyclists should only cross streets when safe, and always look for vehicles before and while crossing. Per state law, no u-turns or passing are allowed in active school zones or school crossing zones.
To learn about specific International Walk to School Day events, contact Nevada Department of Transportation Safe Routes to School Coordinator Cathy Balcon at (775) firstname.lastname@example.org or find walking information at bicyclenevada.com. Further event information and registration is also available at walkbiketoschool.org.