January 22, 2013 by Michael Skousen
Over $600 million in funds has gone out to municipalities around the United States since 2005 to help communities create new, safer routes to school, in the hopes of significantly reducing student injury and both before school and after school hours. Measures taken by the city as part of the program included new traffic lights, pedestrian signals, and speed bumps, which were placed strategically around New York City schools. In more rural environments cities and towns could also use the funds to create new pathways or sidewalks to help keep students out of the roadway altogether.
New York took these measures around 124 schools where they found injury rates to be the highest, and according to Yahoo News, a new study targeted 30 schools which had completed these projects by early 2009. The study itself found pretty amazing results – between 2001 and 2010, it tracked a 44 percent drop in the number of school aged pedestrians who were injured during the studies before-and-after school timeframe. This nearly halved the total injuries from 8 injuries per 10,000 students to only 4.4 per 10,000.
Though it did not receive as much of the SRTS money as New York, they have to date funded 150 projects totaling over $17 million throughout Arizona. No professional studies have been completed to the same extent as NYC, but anecdotal evidence from school websites, as well as saferoutestoschool.org indicates that while the programs don’t completely eliminate possible injury, they do appear to be working, and working well.
A good example of this locally is Griffith Elementary School in Maricopa County, who used their funding in conjunction with the Maricopa County Public Health Office to create an SRTS program called “Walk and Rollers.” Griffith has a student population of about 650 students, more than half of whom live within a quarter mile of the school. The main goal of Griffith’s program was to increase the amount of children who were able to walk safely to school.
The school had an “International Walk to School Day,” to kick off the program, which was heavily attended, and effective parts of the program included a “walking bus” where responsible parents would meet the children at their homes and chaperone them on the short walk to school. Approximately 50 students consistently walked with the Walking School Bus every morning, and new students tried it out regularly. So far, this program, and others like it are still going strong, and growing as more volunteers see their success.
If you or a loved one is hurt in an accident while walking to or from school or work, it is imperative that you have an experienced attorney on your side to help you get the compensation you deserve. For a free initial consultation, call Skousen, Gulbrandsen & Patience today at 480-833-8800.
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