Back to School and the Road to Zero
September means “back to school” around Connecticut. Although school continues to look a little different for many, what remains the same is the danger students face getting to and from school on our roadways. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines children as age 14 and younger. In 2017, the most recent year reported, NHTSA statistics revealed the following:
- Of the 37,133 motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the United States, 1,147 (3%) were children.
- Of the 5,977 pedestrian traffic fatalities in 2017, 214 (4%) were children.
- Of the 783 pedalcyclist traffic fatalities in 2017, 53 (7%) were children.
This number means an average of three children per day are killed on our nation’s roadways. The Road to Zero Coalition, which is managed by the National Safety Council, has made a commitment to bring traffic fatalities down to zero by 2050. This is a challenging but important commitment, as no one should have to die simply traveling our roads. Children are especially vulnerable during the school year as they are walking and biking to school, often during times of little daylight.
There are many ways in which you can make your community safer for children and for all roadway users. Resources from organizations like the Safe Routes Partnership and Walk Safe can help you to create safe systems in your community. These organizations focus on getting children safely to and from school, but their ideas ultimately result in greater safety for all users. Communities can also start a walking school bus which provides safety while encouraging physical activity. This also helps reduce the number of vehicles on the road during school drop-off and pick-up hours. If you are interested in additional ways to make your community safer for children, watch this Road to Zero webinar.
For more information and assistance with local road safety in your community, contact Melissa Evans, Safety Circuit Rider, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/
Road to Zero August 2021 newsletter, https://www.nsc.org/road/resources/road-to-zero/road-to-zero-newsletter
Watch for Me CT, https://watchformect.org/