ODOT and First Lady Karen Kasich
Launch Safety Campaign at Columbus City School
Campaign Introduces Safe Routes to School Safety Contest
COLUMBUS (Tuesday, October 4, 2012) – Featuring All-Ohio Show Choir performing a live music video, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and Ohio’s First Lady Karen Kasich kicked-off Walk+Bike to School Month today with the state’s new Safe Routes to School (SRTS) “Every Move You Make, Keep It Safe” campaign.
“As the mother of school-age children, I encourage everyone to make traveling safely to school a top priority,” said SRTS Ambassador Mrs. Kasich.  “Talk to your students.  Set good examples of safe walking, bicycling and driving behavior, and stay alert when traveling in or around school zones.”
The new campaign focuses on reducing crashes near and around Ohio schools.  Between 2008 and 2010, there were 11,734 bicycle and pedestrian-related crashes that occurred near Ohio K-8 schools resulting in 244 fatalities and 7,350 injuries.
The new campaign, launched at Westmoor Elementary in Columbus, Ohio, featured a first-of-its-kind, hip hop-style educational music video designed to engage stuents and improve their safety knowledge.
“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 12, 2011 to February 29, 2012. 
To help students get to school safely, ODOT provides these important safety tips:

Walking Safety
  • Walk directly across streets
  • Watch for parked cars that might move unexpectedly
  • Use pedestrian signals and crosswalks
Bicycling Safety
  • 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.