Back in 1997, the very first Walk to School Day was launched in Chicago. It was called ‘National Walk Our Children to School Day.’ During this first event, our city joined students, parents, law enforcement officers, school personnel and city officials on our students’ walk to school.
Since then, the event has turned into International Walk to School Day and countries across the world are now participating. In 2002 more than 3 million people participated and in 2005 legislation was passed to award states with federal grants to help reduce the risk of pedestrian accidents.
Our Chicago pedestrian accident attorneys invite residents to participate in this year’s event which will be held on October 5th. All day, parents, students, law enforcement, school employees and government officials will be walking to help raise awareness about the need for pedestrian-safe roadways for walkers of all ages. This event is also used to encourage our young ones to get out and get active as well as to encourage more to walk to reduce roadways traffic. There will a number of events and walks throughout the state to celebrate the occasion.
Pedestrian accidents in Illinois and elsewhere took the lives of more than 1,300 child pedestrians under the age of 15 in 2009. Another 179,000 young pedestrians were injured in these accidents, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
Schools in Chicago that will be participating in this year’s events include:
-Disney Ii Magnet School
-Peterson Elementary School
-Philip Rogers Elementary School
-Sauganash Elementary School
-St. John Berchmans School
Since the start of the program, nearly 11,500 schools in all 50 states have received federal funding through the 2005 legislation. The event went ‘international’ back in 2000. Event organizers believe that 2010 was the largest celebration of the event and the campaign as nearly 4,000 events were registered through the website. Many more unregistered events were also held.
According to Transportation for America, there were nearly 2,000 people killed in traffic-related pedestrian accidents from 2000 to 2009 in Illinois. These accidents cost the state more than $7 billion. Illinois ranks right in the middle for pedestrian-safe roadways in our country, sitting at 27th out of all 50 states.
Parents are urged to get out there and join their little ones on the way to school on October 5th. Remember to continue to talk with your child about safe-pedestrian habits. These skills can be used for the rest of their life and may be able to help prevent them from being the victim of a fatal pedestrian accident. Getting out walking also can help them to get healthy, gain self-confidence and become more independent and responsible.
If you or your child has been injured in a pedestrian accident, the personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.
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