How can we best reach and educate parents about Safe Routes to School?

A variety of strategies can be used to reach parents as they teach their children safety skills, and drive on the school campus and adjacent streets.

  • Print materials: To communicate with parents, school web sites, emails to parents, or information sent home with students can all be used. Some schools hold "Traffic Safety Days" to promote safe driving in the school zone, as well as encourage safe walking and bicycling. School officials, parent volunteers, police officers and others distribute flyers and talk to drivers who pick up or drop off children. Walkers and bicyclists are given safety information and incentives at a welcome table as they arrive at the school.
  • Signage and enforcement activities: Signs, pavement markings, notices and educational flyers placed on windshields of illegally parked motor vehicles remind parents of proper rules and procedures. See the Enforcement section of the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Guide for more information.
  • Media stories: Local news stories that focus on SRTS can also include key messages about pedestrian, bicyclist and traffic safety.
  • Training: Though many parents feel comfortable teaching their child pedestrian safety, they sometimes feel less prepared to teach bicycling rules of the road. One bicycle club in Marin County, California responded to this need by offering a training class for parents on how to teach bicycling skills to their children. Some communities have sought ways to improve parents' driving behavior through training.

For information on parent education messages visit the Key Message for Parents section of the SRTS Guide.

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