Safe Routes to School Toolkit

This toolkit has been designed to assist you in initiating and implementing a SR2S program. Many successful SR2S programs began with just one or two volunteers organizing a Walk and Bike to School Day, using the energy generated from a single event to build a SR2S program. Other SR2S programs were created through a community-wide Task Force organized by public officials to address traffic issues. There is no "right" way to start the program. Customizing your program to the needs of your community will ensure the success of your program but your chance of success will increase if you follow in the footsteps of the pilot programs.

Successful SR2S programs in the United States have incorporated one or more of the following approaches:

  • The Encouragement Approach uses events and contests to entice students to try walking and biking.
  • The Education Approach teaches students important safety skills and launches driver safety campaigns.
  • The Engineering Approach focuses on creating physical improvements to the infrastructure surrounding the school, reducing speeds and establishing safer crosswalks and pathways.
  • The Enforcement Approach uses local law enforcement to ensure drivers obey traffic laws.

Although each element can stand alone, the most successful programs have integrated elements from all four approaches. Each time the program is adapted, new ideas emerge. Use research data, innovation, and imagination to develop a program that best suits your school and community.

This publication includes a promotional and Safe Streets toolkit, classroom activities and various resources including model programs, walking school bus, traffic calming, videos, books and CD-ROMs. There is also an extensive library of forms including checklists, press releases, factsheets, talking points, letters and surveys.

Authoring Organization: 
National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)