The wheels on the bus didn't go round and round on Wednesday as Rodgers Forge Elementary School students made a point of walking to school.
Many Rodgers Forge students live near the school anyway, but for International Walk to School Day, Baltimore County police and AAA Mid-Atlantic representatives were on hand to help students celebrate.
Maya Wieman, manager of safety services for the AAA Mid-Atlantic Foundation, said the organization wants kids "not only to walk to school, but to walk safely to school."
The event at Rodgers Forge was one of 45 in Maryland and more than 3,300 nationwide. Last year,
Stu Sirota, a Rodgers Forge parent there, said that "we're still in the formative stage of ideas on how to make walking safer in Rodgers Forge."
However, he hopes that some of the ideas celebrated on Wednesday, like the walking school bus, will catch on.
"It does take a village to raise a child and to include more communities in this sort of thing, it's an incredible first step," he said.
Here are some tips to help stay safe on the road, whether you're walking or driving, courtesy of AAA:
Drivers' Tips to Keep School Children Safe
- Limit distractions such as cell phones, CD players or other devices that cause you to take your eyes off the road. Research shows that taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles your chances of crashing.
- Stay alert and slow down in or near school and residential areas. Don’t rush into and out of driveways. Expect pedestrians on the sidewalk, especially around schools and in neighborhoods.
- Stop at stop signs. It sounds obvious, but research shows that more than one third of drivers roll through stop signs in school zones or neighborhoods.
- Look for clues such as school safety patrols, adult crossing guards, bicycles and playgrounds, which indicate children could be in the area.
- Drive with your headlights on-even during the day-so children and other drivers can see you.
- Always stop for school buses that are loading/unloading students.
- Pay particular attention near schools during the morning and afternoon hours and plan ahead. Leave early for your destination and build extra time for congestion.
- Practice extra caution in adverse weather conditions.
Safe Walking Tips for Children
- Always obey adult crossing guards and AAA school safety patrols.
- Before crossing-look all ways.
- Obey all traffic signals.
- Use crosswalks and corners to cross the road.
- Where there is no sidewalk and it is necessary to walk in the roadway, walk facing traffic and as far from the roadway as possible.
- Avoid crossing between parked cars.
- Watch for cars. Be sure that the way is clear before you cross.