LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – A new statewide program is encouraging kids to walk and bike to school.
Through the ‘Safe Route to School’ program, police officers and community members play a key role in keeping students safe as they find alternate ways to commute to school.
During an award ceremony at the Statehouse Thursday lawmakers and public safety officials applauded Massachusetts residents who have been instrumental in making the program a success.
By teaching children basic bicycle and pedestrian safety, public officials hope to encourage kids to seek alternate modes of transportation to get to school.
“Walking and biking to schools helps kids start the school day ready to learn, it helps make them healthier and address what we know is an epidemic of childhood obesity and it helps address congestion,” said DOT Secretary, Stephanie Pollack.
“In a lot of cities and towns schools pick up and drop off time are among the worst congestion in the community, and the more kids that walk and bike the fewer cars we have,” Pollack said.
Through the ‘Safe Walk to School’ program kids learn about ways to cut down on carbon emissions by stopping cars from idling in drop-off and pick-up lines.
Public safety officials have partnered with hundreds of schools across the state to explore different transportation methods like walking, biking or riding a scooter
Police departments in communities like Longmeadow have also joined the movement by closely monitoring areas just outside of school grounds.