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Back-to-school safety everyone's responsibility

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Rosalee Senger, the ODOT regional traffic safety coordinator, encourages a safety routine at the end of each summer. Parents, older children and other family members share the responsibility to identify safe routes and teach traffic rules to younger children going back to school.

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility in the school zone, on the road, on the bike path or on the sidewalk,” said Senger. “With the start of the school year, law enforcement agencies focus on school zones.

“The thought isn’t to write traffic tickets, it’s about avoiding a tragedy.”

The Oregon Safe Routes to School Program is a partnership between city and county agencies, schools, community organizations, neighborhoods and schools that work together to create opportunities to make walking and biking to school and throughout the neighborhood fun, easy, safe and healthy for all students and their families. Learn more at the program website,

Several other online resources can help you make good choices, including and

Dates to remember

Sept. 15-21 — Child Passenger Safety Week

Sept. 21 — National Seat Check Saturday: Oregon law requires child passengers weighing over 40 pounds to ride in booster seats until 8 years of age or 4’9” tall. For children who are physically beyond the safety seat, remember that all passengers must buckle up for safety.

Oct. 5 — 2013 Walk+Bike to School Day:

Most of the schools that register will receive free incentives such as:

  • Helmets
  • Shoelaces
  • Great stickers
  • Temporary tattoos (kids love ‘em!)
  • Prize ribbons (like the ones you used to have on your peg board!)

All participating schools received a free coordinator packet that includes tips and resources for:

    • Promoting the event
    • Organizing parent volunteers
    • Procuring local prizes

Register online at for the 2013 Walk+Bike to School Day. You can also register your school

for the 2014 Walk+Bike Challenge Month and learn more about the curriculum and resources available to help you begin.

« Back to the September 2013 edition