Wednesday, October 9th was international Walk/Bike to School Day. The day focuses on safety awareness for all young students and emphasizes the importance of following safety rules and guidelines while crossing streets going to and from school.
Thousands of Pinellas County students joined others across the greater Tampa Bay region in recognition of the special day. Students who attend Leila Davis Elementary in Clearwater gathered with parents in a coordinated effort with Clearwater Police early Wednesday morning for an escorted walk to school. Pedestrian safety and conscientious walking habits were reinforced each step of the way.
In an interview with ABC Action News, Kim Hill, principal at Leila Davis Elementary, explained, “I think making sure that we’re educating children on bike safety, pedestrian safety, is so important even at the school level and at home.”
The significance of the walk held even greater significance after a Brandon student was hit by a car on his way to school the same morning of the event. He was not part of any organized safety-walk effort.
“Part of us driving this message home is that there needs to be a heightened awareness of drivers and students, and each needs to be aware of the other,” says Rob Shaw of the Clearwater Police.
International Walk/Bike to School Day also carries a healthy message beyond following safety regulations. Officials behind the effort also hope to encourage kids to get outdoors, be healthy and enjoy plenty of exercise and activity.