Tomorrow, October 5, Santa Barbara Unified School District will join schools from around the country to celebrate National Walk to School Day. At multiple elementary schools, this event will be conducted in partnership with the Santa Barbara Police Department to send unified traffic safety messages to our community.
Students from our local elementary schools will be walking and biking to school along with parents, teachers and community leaders. The Santa Barbara Police Department will be deploying traffic/patrol officers to the neighborhoods near schools to enforcement traffic laws, reminding everyone the importance of pedestrian and bicycle safety this day and every day represents.
Walk to School Day events raise awareness of the need to create safer routes for walking and bicycling. It also emphasizes the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, traffic congestion and concern for the environment. The events build connections between law enforcement, families, schools and the broader community.
Pedestrian and bicyclist safety continues to be a priority for the Santa Barbara Police Department. Along with participating in the Safe Routes to School program, the department will be conducting numerous pedestrian and bicycle safety operations over the course of the next year.
Important Safety Reminders
- Walk on a sidewalk or path when one is available.
- If no sidewalk or path is available, walk on the shoulder, facing traffic.
- Stay alert; don’t be distracted by electronic devices, including smart phones, MP3 players, and other devices that take your eyes (and ears) off the road.
- Be cautious night and day when sharing the road with vehicles. Never assume a driver sees you (he or she could be distracted, under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, or just not see you). Make eye contact with drivers as they approach.
- Be predictable. Cross streets at crosswalks or intersections when possible. This is where drivers expect pedestrians.
- If a crosswalk or intersection is not available, locate a well-lit area, wait for a gap in traffic that allows you enough time to cross safely, and continue to watch for traffic as you cross.
- Be visible. Wear bright clothing during the day, and wear reflective materials or use a flash light at night.
- Look for pedestrians everywhere. Pedestrians may not be walking where they should be or may be hard to see—especially in poor lit conditions, including dusk/dawn/night and poor weather.
- Always stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk or where pedestrian crosswalk signs are posted.
- Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. They may be stopped to allow pedestrians to cross the street.
- Slowdown and look for pedestrians. Be prepared to stop when turning or otherwise entering a crosswalk.
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
- Follow the speed limit; slow down around pedestrians.
- Stay focused and slow down where children may be present, like school zones and neighborhoods.
- For additional information, please visit these websites:
- Walk to School Day in the USA – www.walkbiketoschool.org
- National Center for Safe Routes to School – www.saferoutesinfo.org