Ohio Department of Transportation  •  News Release
Division of Communications
1980 West Broad Street • Columbus, Ohio 43223
COLUMBUS (Monday, August 20, 2012) – As Ohio’s 1.8 million students head back to school, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) reminds motorists to do their part to keep them safe.
“Ensuring the safety of our school children, whether they bike, walk, or ride the bus to school, is everyone’s responsibility,” said ODOT Director Jerry Wray. “Adhering to some very basic safe driving tips could help prevent a tragic accident.”
Last year, there were 247 crashes in school zones – more than one crash for each of the 182 days of school – with 103 injuries. According to an ODOT safety study, the crashes were caused by motorists following too closely, failing to yield, and failing to control their vehicles, in that order.
To be safe in school zones, motorists should follow these safety tips:
1.      Slow down – obey all traffic laws and speed limits
2.      Don’t text and drive – your focus needs to be on the road
3.      Don’t pass other vehicles or change lanes in school zones
For children who walk and bike to school, the federal government has mandated that ODOT invest more than $48 million in a Safe Routes to School program since 2004 . The federal funding is being used in communities across the state to construct safer school crossing signals and sidewalks, provide new educational materials, add police enforcement in school zones, and create safe travel plans to encourage more students to consider walking and biking to school.
Safety tips for both drivers and kids who bike and walk to school are available on the Safe Routes to School website at: www.saferoutesinfo.org  
For more information,  contact: Steve Faulkner, ODOT Press Secretary, at 614-644-7101, steve.faulkner@dot.state.oh.us or your local ODOT District Communications Office