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Let’s Walk to School!

A webinar about reducing liability concerns for SRTS programs

Child Care & Schools
Healthy Neighborhoods

In 1969, approximately 50% of children walked or bicycled to school, including almost 90% of children living within one mile of school. Today, fewer than 15% of schoolchildren walk or bicycle to school. Walking or biking to school can be a convenient way for kids (and parents!) to be more active every day. Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs and policies make it easier and safer for children and their families to walk or bike to school by sponsoring walk-to-school days and organizing “walking school buses” in which adult volunteers supervise children as they walk to school as a group.

However, despite the many benefits of SRTS – reversing childhood obesity trends, reducing traffic congestion, improving air quality, enhancing neighborhood safety – some schools have been reluctant to support SRTS programs due to concerns about being sued if an injury or problem arises. But such fears are largely unwarranted. By acting responsibly and understanding liability issues, schools, nonprofits, and parent groups can help students reap the health and academic benefits of SRTS programs while minimizing any risks.

SRTS WebinarIn August 2010, NPLAN hosted a training on SRTS programs, policies and liability concerns for advocates and school officials. Presenters put liability concerns in perspective, explained how SRTS programs may leave schools with a lower risk of liability than existed prior to the program, and provided best practices for implementing SRTS programs and policies.

A recording of the webinar is available for playback here, and the slides and related resources are available in the download section below. Please note that on May 17, 2012 Public Health Law & Policy (PHLP) became ChangeLab Solutions.

*Note: Unfortunately, Robert Ping cannot provide access to the photos he used in his presentation due to release waivers signed by the people in the images.