CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Students in Clay County will join thousands of others across the country on Wednesday for the 23rd annual National Walk to School Day.
The day-long event highlights the importance of creating safer routes for walking and bicycling, increasing physical activity among children and bridging connections in the community.
"Walk to School Day inspires schools and entire communities to celebrate safety, health and active transportation," said Nancy Pullen-Seufert, Director of the National Center for Safe Routes to School, the coordinating agency for the event.
While several Clay County schools will be participating in the movement, the National Center for Safe Routes is specifically partnering with Fleming Island Elementary School this year.
Superintendent Davis, as well as district staff and Safe Routes, will be at the school Wednesday where tables will be set up with items to give out for safe walking and biking.
This is an issue a lot of parents have said they're concerned about. Cell phone use among young people and distracted walking is a part of that concern.
According to the National Safety Council:
- In 1995, kids aged 5 to 9 were more at risk than any other minor age group for being hit by a car while walking.
- The agency says that has now flipped. Teenagers are now more likely to be hit by a car while walking.
- Of the 374 pedestrians aged 5 to 19 who died after being hit by a car in 2017, 241 of those were 15 to 19 years old. Walking while holding a cell phone is believed to be a factor.
Some safety guidelines from the council include following these simple steps:
- If you need to send a text or make a call, move out of the way of others and stop on the sidewalk
- Do not walk with headphones in your ears
- Cross only at crosswalks
- Never cross while holding a phone or any other electronic device including tablets
National Walk to School is an all-day event but the festivities kick off around 7:30 a.m. at Fleming Island Elementary School.