Annual Walk to School Day raises awareness for pedestrian safety

Posted: Oct. 4, 2013 9:29 am Updated: Oct. 18, 2013 12:15 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

Safe Kids Adams County is taking its yearly stand against pedestrian injuries with International Walk to School Day.

Unintentional pedestrian injuries are the fifth-leading cause of injury-related deaths for children ages 5 to 19 in the United States. Triena Dietrich, coordinator for Safe Kids Adams County, said she hopes the annual event helps children as well as all walkers and drivers maintain an awareness for pedestrian safety.

"Children think that they're invincible, and that if there's a car it's not going to hit them," Dietrich said. "Kids are more vulnerable to pedestrian injuries."

This year, officials from Safe Kids Adams County will walk groups of second-graders from Berrian Elementary on Tuesday, and Madison Elementary, Washington Elementary and St. Francis Solanus School on Wednesday. The groups will review safe walking practices, as well as carry a special banner to recognize the event.

Safe Kids Worldwide began the Safe Kids Walk This Way Program in 2000 to create safer, more walker friendly communities. Safe Kids combats the issue through research, physical improvements to school zones as well as education and awareness campaigns such as International Walk to School Day.

Safe Kids coalitions throughout the country will partner with more than 1,000 elementary to teach children about pedestrian dangers.

"We're trying to reduce the rates of pedestrian accidents," Dietrich said. "This is a very, very good opportunity to raise awareness."