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International Walk to School Day Raises Awareness of School-Aged Pedestrian Accidents in Port St. Lucie, Nation

Our West Palm Beach pedestrian accident attorneys want you to know that today is International Walk to School Day. This yearly event started back in 1997, and is designed to raise awareness about safer roadways and safer pedestrian habits among children.

In 2002, there were more than 3 million people who participated in the event, with every state joining in to conduct activities and walks to help raise awareness. Because of International Walk to School Day and Safe Routes to School programs, the federal government has allotted a significant amount of money to be distributed to local and state governments to help fund safe-walking programs and pedestrian-safer roadways.

In 2009, there were approximately 1,300 youngsters under the age of 15 who were killed in traffic-related pedestrian accidents in Pompano Beach and elsewhere. Another 179,000 individuals in this age group were injured in the same types of incidents. International Walk to School Day is a good time to increase awareness about the presence of these young pedestrians and to reduce their risks for injury.

Schools participating in the 2011 International Walk to School Day:

-Grassy Waters Elementary School

-Charles R. Drew Elementary School

-Norwood Elementary School

-Virginia A. Boone Highland Oaks Elementary School

-Verde Elementary School

-Whispering Pines Elementary School

International Walk to School Day promotes the four E’s; education, enforcement, encouragement and engineering. Education refers to creating programs and activities that help children to learn safe-walking habits. Encouragement means helping children to want to follow safe, regular and healthy walking habits. Enforcement has to do with making sure that law enforcement officials enforce the current traffic laws and posted speed limits, especially in areas where young pedestrians are present. Encouragement efforts can be executed through public relations efforts, regular announcements, special events and incentive programs. Through the last “E,” engineering, the campaign urges traffic departments to upgrade roadways, signs, road lighting and sidewalks. Enhancing these road characteristics can help to enhance pedestrian and bicyclist safety for residents statewide.

Parents are urged to talk with children about how to be safe when walking. Tips should include: looking both ways before crossing the street; never running across the street; wearing bright-colored clothing during evening and early morning hours; and making eye contact with drivers before crossing the roadway. Walking to school is a task that requires responsibility and maturity, so parents are urged to discuss the dangers and the importance of safety during each walk to school.

Effectively reducing the risks of child pedestrian accidents means that we need to continue to teach our young ones safe traveling habits. Make it a regular topic of conversation in your household. Without concerned parents’ involvement, young pedestrians may be unable to comprehend the dangers of traffic. We can all chip in to help keep school-aged pedestrians safe and injury-free on our roadways.

If you or your child has been injured in a pedestrian accident in Fort Lauderdale, Miami or in any of the surrounding areas, contact the West Palm Beach Law Offices of Dean H. Freeman for a free consultation. Call 1-800-529-2368.

More Blog Entries:

New Report Ranks Florida First in Fatal Pedestrian Accidents, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, June 7, 2011

More traffic brings increased risk of pedestrian accidents in West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, January 25, 2011

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