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Nevada Moves celebrates walking and biking to school across the state

Date:

SUBMITTED BY DENNIS STARK

Wednesday, April 25 is Nevada’s third annual Nevada Moves Day. The state has been advocating safe pedestrian and bicycle traffic for some time, and this now annual event is focused on getting children to school safely.

It serves as an important reminder for all of us as children go to school each day, which is especially important since there has been a spike in pedestrian and bicycle fatalities this past year.

There are five goals to Nevada Moves:

  1. Teaching safe walking and bicycling skills to children.
  2. Reducing traffic congestion and air pollution near schools.
  3. Promoting physical activity.
  4. Showing concern for the environment.
  5. Promoting awareness of how walkable a community is and where improvements can be made.
  6. Sharing time with children, parents and community leaders.

Nevada Moves depends not only safe travel for children, but parents are key components to make the day successful.

As a member of the state’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board, we, the board, are encouraging young and old alike to use Nevada Moves as time to commute to school by bike or by foot and to encourage safe travel to and from schools.

Children should follow basic rules to avoid any problems. Younger children should always walk with an adult. If parents allow children to go to school on their own, children should remember these simple tips:

  • Walk with a friend when possible.
  • Decide on a safe route to school, one that avoids obvious dangers.
  • Do not let friends talk children into shortcuts, which are potentially dangerous.
  • Stay safe near streets; do not push, shove or chase one another.
  • Never hitchhike or take rides from others not arranged by your parents.
  • Tell parents and school officials about any bullying that may happen to and from school.

It is also important that children wear bright-colored clothes. When it is dark, reflectors and flashlights can aid with visibility.

Children should always watch for traffic. Intersections, driveways and drivers in parked cars may be getting ready to move. Always be mindful of these situations.

Finally, crossing the street safely is an important skill for all ages to remember. Always stop at the curb or edge of the street, look left, right, left and behind you and in front of you for traffic. Only cross when no traffic is coming. While crossing a street, keep looking for traffic – and always walk when crossing, never run.

Nevada Moves is an important reminder for children and parents to stress safe commuting to work. More information is available on the National Center for Safe Routes to School website: www.saferoutesinfo.org.

Dennis Stark is a consultant and former county manager of Lyon County. He may be reached at denniswstark.info. He serves on the State of Nevada Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board.

 

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