What can Safe Routes to School programs do to help protect children's personal safety while walking to school?

Many schools teach children ways to avoid potential risks in their environment beyond traffic, like criminal activity and people that may want to harm them. Fear of abduction or assault discourages some parents from allowing their child to walk or bicycle to school. Although child abduction, particularly near a school, is very rare, SRTS programs need to address not only the real dangers from crime, but also parents' perceptions. Whether dangers are real or perceived both affect parents' decisions to allow their children to walk or bicycle to school. Some students and parents worry about bullying by other children while walking or bicycling to school. Schools address bullying as part of violence prevention programs which can be incorporated into the SRTS program.

The National Center's resource Personal Security and Safe Routes to School describes several strategies such as walking school buses, the use of "corner captains" among others that can increase children's personal security on their way to and from school. 

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