ODOT and Safe Kids Tuscarawas Launch Safety Campaign and Fit Youth Initiative with Tuscarawas Central Catholic Elementary
Campaign Introduces Safe Routes to School Contest as part of International Walk to School Day
NEW PHILADELPHIA, OHIO (Tuesday, October 4, 2011) – The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) District 11 is joining Safe Kids Tuscarawas, OSU Extension Tuscarawas County’s Fit Youth Initiative, and the Tuscarawas Central Catholic (TCC) Elementary school tomorrow morning at 7:15 a.m. at Crater Stadium in Dover to kick off Walk and Bike to School Month with the state’s new Safe Routes to School (SRTS) “Every Move You Make, Keep It Safe” campaign.
Students will be led by PE teacher Jane Egler and escorted by the Dover police. Students are scheduled to arrive at TCC Elementary around 7:45 a.m. where they will receive educational and safety materials. This is the school’s third year participating in International Walk to School Day which promotes not only safety awareness but the healthy benefits of walking to school.
Ohio’s First Lady and SRTS Ambassador Karen Kasich said, “As the mother of school-age children, I believe walking and bicycling to school should be encouraged whenever possible – with traveling safely as the top priority. Parents, talk to your children. Teachers, talk to your students. Set good examples of safe walking, bicycling and driving behavior, and stay alert when traveling in or around school zones.”
ODOT’s new campaign focuses on reducing crashes near Ohio schools. Between 2008 and 2010, there were 11,734 bicycle and pedestrian-related crashes around Ohio K-8 schools resulting in 244 fatalities and 7,350 injuries.
“We work to improve safety through engineering, education and evaluation,” said ODOT Director Jerry Wray. “We also believe that grassroots efforts are needed to encourage safer behaviors. This educational campaign is aimed at teaching Ohio students, their families, teachers and school officials safety practices for walking and bicycling to school.”
To further engage students and increase their understanding of walking and biking safety, the SRTS campaign features an interactive School Safety Contest. Thirty-six winning students, classrooms and schools will receive various prizes for creating their own safety-inspired messages. Contest entries will be accepted from October 4, 2011 to February 29, 2012.
To help students get to school safely, ODOT provides these important safety tips:
· Walk directly across streets
· Watch for parked cars that might move unexpectedly
· Use pedestrian signals and crosswalks
· Wear proper gear including a bike helmet and bright clothing
· Ride in the same direction as traffic
· Use headlights, taillights and reflectors when it’s dark
The “Every Move You Make, Keep It Safe” educational campaign was developed as part of the Ohio Safe Routes to School Program. The campaign represents ODOT’s largest, most comprehensive effort to-date to educate people about school traffic safety. Visit EveryMove.ohio.gov for details on the campaign, activities and more.
For more information, contact:
Melissa Ayers, Central Office Communications, at 614-644-8640
Becky Giauque \Jee-awg\, District 11 Office of Communications, at 330-308-3949