In 1997, an organization known as the Partnership for a Walkable America launched an event known as Walk to School Day. Initially designed to be a one-day event, the mission of Walk to School Day was to bring awareness to local communities that were in need of safer and more accessible walking routes. Having safer walking routes could potentially lessen the risk of pedestrian accidents.
The event was a success, and in 2000, the UK and Canada both opted to participate in the event, bringing about the first International Walk to School Day. Growing interest and participation all over the world led the organization to designate the entire month of October as International Walk to School Month.
Over time, International Walk to School Month spurred an interest in year-round pedestrian safety, with a primary focus on safer walking routes to and from schools. Additionally, in May of 2012, the organization created National Bike to School Day. The event was scheduled in May to coincide with the League of American Bicyclists National Bike Month, and it encourages children of all ages to ride their bicycles to school.
Although National Walk to School Month is focused primarily on walking, and Bike to School Day is focused more on bicycling, both events welcome and encourage all forms of transportation to school in which the participant is actively engaged in healthy exercise.
Today, thousands of schools across America, and thousands of schools in more than 40 countries worldwide, all celebrate National Walk to School Month every October.
Lakewood School District, located on the outskirts of Cleveland, Ohio, considers itself to be a participant in National Walk to School Month all school-year long. The school district has never used a bussing system for its students, therefore all students are required to walk or ride a bike to school if they don’t have access to another form of transportation.
Because of the lack of a bussing system, the city is designed to encompass safe waking routes for the children so as not to encourage pedestrian accidents.
Not only does walking to school help the community save around 1 million annually in bussing costs, the school children also enjoy the health benefits of walking to school.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact the skilled personal injury lawyers at O’Connor, Acciani and Levy today.