Parents are encouraged to ditch the car and stretch their legs with their kids for the annual Walk Safely to School Day on Friday, May 19.
Member for Goulburn Pru Goward said the national initiative, which has been supported by the NSW Government since its inception in 2001, is designed to promote road safety, health and public transport.
“This is a great day that promotes exercise, family fun and pedestrian safety, especially for the little ones who should always hold an adult’s hand when out and about,” Ms Goward said.
“School drop off can be busy and stressful especially for parents who may be travelling on to work afterwards, but this is a great chance for families to slow down, have a nice walk together, and take time to talk about pedestrian safety around our schools.”
More than one million students travel to schools across NSW each day.
The Walk Safely to School Day initiative is seen as a valuable way to engage with parents, carers, teachers and students to highlight the importance of road safety.
Last year an estimated 320 schools and 3600 parents participated in the day.
Ms Goward said the NSW Government is also improving pedestrian safety around school zones by investing $10 million for additional school zone flashing lights and pedestrian safety infrastructure like raised zebra crossings and dragon’s teeth markings.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said that there are health benefits for children who walk to school, as it contributes to the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
“I strongly encourage school kids and parents to take advantage of this opportunity, throw on some sneakers and head to school on foot. Physical activity not only improves health and fitness but also academic performance and mental health and wellbeing,” Mr Hazzard said.
Primary school aged children, parents and carers can access road safety information for young children at the safety town website www.safetytown.com.au.
Safety Town was first launched in 2014 and is the first curriculum-based road safety education website in Australia.
It features fun and engaging activities which deliver important messages about how to make safer decisions as a pedestrian, passenger or while riding a bike, scooter or skateboard.
Comprehensive road safety advice for parents, children and school communities can also be found on the Centre for Road Safety website at http://roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/