Head back to school safely

Many of our local schools resume classes next week and with the start of the school year will come the rush to get to school on time.

Safe Routes to School National Partnership estimates that as much as 20 to 30 percent of all morning traffic is generated by parents driving their children to school. The increased congestion on local roads can lead to a greater chance for accidents involving cars and pedestrians and adds to the local air pollution, too.

We ask parents to consider other ways of getting their students to school. Walking or riding a bike to school can be a healthy family activity that results in physical and emotional benefits.

In fact, it’s been reported that walking one mile to and from school each day can fulfill around two-thirds of the 60 minutes of the recommended physical activity for children each day.

Students can also take a bus to school. The safety record of school buses is very good. If your student has the option of riding a bus, consider having them do just that.

Finally, for those who have no choice but to drive their students to school, consider carpooling with other families to help reduce the number of vehicles on the road.

Back-to-school time is time for all drivers to be on alert for school buses and for children walking or biking to school. We wish everyone a safe and happy new school year.