Walk To School Day

Wednesday, October 4th 2006, 9:57 am
By: News On 6

Student safety has been on everyone's minds after three deadly school shootings nationwide and several attempted abductions, in and around Tulsa.

Safety experts all over the world are calling attention to safe behaviors, which start with a walk to school.

News on 6 anchor Tami Marler says some Broken Arrow school students are pounding the pavement with their parents and Safe Kids volunteers, learning some lifesaving lessons. "It's not only safe but healthy. And the environment around this school, Country Lane, is excellent." Mary Beth Ogle says Safe Kids also teaches "parents" what to look for on the route to school. "So what we need to look at is our environment. Do we have crosswalks, do we have crossing guards, do we have flashing lights? What's the driver behavior like? Are cars speeding? All of those things are important when it comes to a child's life."

"First thing I would like to see is a crossing guard. 51st Street is very busy, traffic-wise." Like many parents, Sheila Montgomery walks her 4th-grader to school every day. She says little ones can't always judge the traffic and drivers don't always follow the rules. "Probably since August I've had maybe two people stop at the crosswalk and let us pass. Most of it just goes, so we just have to stand there and wait for an opportunity to cross."

Kids have to think about more than just crossing the street. In this age of stalking and abduction, they also have to be aware of their surroundings.

Sheila Montgomery: "She has older siblings and so we've kind of gone through that with them all as far the stranger thing and if a car pulls up to her or whatever. I think she would pass, and know what to do in that situation."

Mary Beth Ogle: "It is something that you make the children aware of. You don't hide it, you don't say I don't want to scare the children. You educate them in a safe and calm manner."

Walk to School Day makes education, a lot of fun.

Safety experts say teach your kids to watch for people in parked cars. If they're approached by a vehicle to run in the opposite direction and scream. And never, ever get into a car with anyone, unless mom or dad personally okayed it ahead of time.