National Walk to School Day highlights pedestrian safety

Comes 1 day after teen killed trying to get on bus
National Walk to School Day highlights pedestrian safety
Posted at 11:00 AM, Oct 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-10 11:01:03-04

Wednesday you might see more students and families on the streets before and after school. 

That is because it is National Walk to School Day, which helps promote pedestrian safety for walkers and drivers. 

“This day is about raising awareness for both pedestrians and drivers in an effort to prevent crashes and keep our citizens safe,” said MDOT SHA Administrator Greg Slater. “Through education, enforcement, and engineering, we will continue to reinforce traffic laws and the rules of the road to enhance pedestrian safety. We encourage everyone to be vigilant at all times and look out for each other. Special thanks to the schools hosting Walk to School Day events and continuing conversations about pedestrian safety in their communities.”

Last year, 111 pedestrians were killed in Maryland and 257 school-aged kids were injured while walking during school arrival and dismissal times. This doesn't include 16-year-old Kyle Lynam who was killed on Tuesday while chasing after his school bus. 

RELATED: Friends remember 16-year-old killed running afterschoolbus

“It’s critical that we all look out for each other on our roadways, not just today, but every day,” said MDOT Motor Vehicle Administrator and Governor Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative Chrissy Nizer. “Pedestrians never win in a traffic crash. Drivers should focus on the task of driving including parking their phones and obeying posted speed limits, using special caution near bus stops and in school zones. We urge pedestrians to be extra vigilant of their surroundings and always utilize crosswalks.”

And National Walk To School Day is about more than pedestrian safety, it also aims to instill healthier habits in kids by choosing to walk instead of getting a ride to school. It also aims to provide a cleaner environment by replacing car trips to school with walking or riding a bike, which reduces air-polluting emissions.