NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC- Safe Kids Cape Fear and Wilmington Metropolitan Planning Organization (WMPO) are joining together with local law enforcement and local schools on October 7, 2015 in recognition of International Walk to School Day.
Walking to school is a great way for kids to get exercise and reduce traffic congestion near schools. Unfortunately, many children are unable to walk because the conditions are not safe. The long-term goals of Safe Kids Walk This Way are to raise awareness, promote pedestrian safety, and create safer routes for walking and bicycling to school. There will be more than 750 International Walk to School Day activities as part of the Safe Kids Walk This Way pedestrian safety program sponsored by FedEx.
WHO IS WALKING: Forest Hills Elementary, Ogden Elementary, Carolina Beach Elementary, Alderman Elementary are all participating with the support of local law enforcement, Safe Kids Cape Fear coalition members, and Wilmington Metropolitan Planning Office.
WHEN: Before school begins on Wednesday, October 7, 2015. Contact individual schools for more specific meeting times and locations.
WHERE: Forest Hills Elementary, Ogden Elementary, Carolina Beach Elementary, Alderman Elementary. Each school will have students gather at predetermined meeting locations.
WHAT: Safe Kids Cape Fear coalition members, WMPO, law enforcement, parents, PTA, and teachers walk together with children to advocate for safer walking environments for school children. Visuals will include students carrying banners and a “walking school bus” being escorted by local law enforcement.
WHY: Every day, 44 children are hit by a car in the United States. That’s 16,000 children hit by cars every year. According to the World Health Organization, road traffic injuries are the second-leading cause of death among children ages 5 to 14 worldwide. According to the Watch For Me NC campaign, each year more than 2,400 pedestrians are hit by vehicles in North Carolina, making North Carolina one of the least safe states in the US for walking. In collisions with cars, pedestrians in particular have a lot to lose. Those hit at 40 mph have an 85 percent chance of dying.
Safe Kids Cape Fear works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the number one cause of death for children in the United States. Safe Kids Cape Fear is led by New Hanover County Health Department. For more information about International Walk to School Day or Safe Kids, visit safekids.org or contact Safe Kids Cape Fear Coordinator, Julia Phelps 910-798-6636.
Deputy Health Director