UDOT’s Student Neighborhood Access Program (SNAP)™ announced its 49 recipients of donated bikes, helmets and scooters in classrooms and assemblies statewide. Students earned the prizes for participating in UDOT’s “Walk More in Four” initiative.
Walk More in Four, a collaborative statewide initiative sponsored by UDOT’s SNAP, UDOH’s Gold Medal Schools Program and Walmart, encouraged Utah elementary, middle and junior high school students to safely walk or bike to and from school at least three times each week during the four weeks in September leading up to International Walk to School Day, Oct. 6.
More than 1,000 students statewide, representing 25 school districts and 66 schools, charted their progress for a chance to win dozens of donated prizes, including bikes, scooters and helmets.
Morgan Elementary: Nicole Carter, Scooter and Helmet
UDOT’s SNAP, part of the federal Safe Routes to School program, provides resources to assist schools in planning, education and encouragement activities to increase the number of Utah children walking and biking to and from school. When more students walk or bike safely to school, their overall health can improve and there aren’t as many cars around the school, which means cleaner air and fewer pedestrian-vehicle incidents.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, almost half of all students, and 87 percent of students living within one mile of their school, walked or biked to or from school in 1969. In contrast, today only 15 percent of all school trips are made by walking or bicycling.
Parents can help their children practice safe walking and biking habits by discussing the following safety tips:
Ask your principal for a copy of your school’s SNAP Map, which shows the safest routes for students to walk and bike.
Always wear a safety-certified helmet when riding a bicycle and make sure it fits properly and is worn correctly.
Never walk or ride with headphones. They are distracting and can keep you from hearing traffic.
When using an umbrella, don’t allow it to block your view of traffic and signs. Use a bright umbrella as drivers’ views are likely to be distorted by rain.
Wear bright-colored clothing or tie a bright handkerchief to your backpack, especially when you ride a bicycle, to make it easier for traffic to see you.
Organize a “walking school bus” or “bike train” in your neighborhood: Parents take turns being the “driver” and picking up or dropping off children at designated stops along the walking or biking route.
More tips and resources are available to parents year round at udot.utah.gov/SNAPparents