The most successful SRTS programs incorporate the five E’s: education, encouragement, engineering, enforcement, and evaluation. The goal of SRTS is to get more children bicycling and walking to schools on an everyday basis. This improves community and personal health, benefits the environment, increases safety, and helps to decrease traffic congestion around schools.
Today, fewer than 15% of schoolchildren walk or bicycle to school. As a result, kids today are less active, less independent, and less healthy. As much as 20 to 30% of morning traffic is generated by parents driving their children to schools, and traffic-related crashes are the top cause of death and major injury for children in the U.S. ages 1 to 17.
While individual motivation for behavior change is important, it’s critical that we structure our environments to make healthy behavior easy. SRTS programs do exactly that by improving walking and biking conditions on routes to school and enabling and encouraging children to use them.
Kaiser Permanente is a national partner of Safe Routes to School and supports SRTS programs as part of our Community Health Initiatives.
Learn more about the Safe Routes to School National Partnership.