What are messages for parents?

In relation to Safe Routes to School (SRTS), parents play a role in their child's safety in three ways: 1. as teachers of safety behaviors, 2. as drivers on the school campus during drop-off and pick-up times, 3. as drivers near the school.

Different messages apply to parents for each of these roles:
1. Parents as teachers
Parents need to know the following:

  • Practice safe walking and bicycling with your child. Parents teach and model safe behavior for their children. Children have the best chance of retaining and applying walking and bicycling skills if they have a chance to practice them with supervision and reinforcement. It is similar to the need to teach teens to drive -- new drivers are not expected to have the skills or knowledge to drive safely without receiving instruction.
  • Parents may need detailed information about proper safety practices specific for their child's age. An informed and interested parent can identify safe walking and bicycling routes for their child, teach their child rules as they walk or bicycle, and model safe behavior themselves. See Key Messages for Children for more information.

2. Parents as drivers on the school campus during drop-off and pick-up times

  • Drivers need to know the following:
  • Appropriate locations for pick up and drop off at the school and any special rules that apply at these times. A well-designed drop-off and pick-up procedure along with drivers who correctly follow the procedure will improve the safety of everyone arriving to or departing from school. See Student Drop-off and Pick-up for more information on how to improve the safety of this process.

3. Parents as drivers near the school:

  • Parents need to know the following:
  • Parents are no different than other drivers. Some contribute to safety problems by speeding through school zones and failing to obey traffic signals. See the All Drivers Near the School for messages and strategies for reaching parents in this role.

For information on ways to educate parents visit the Strategies for Reaching Parents section of the SRTS Guide.

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