How Walking To School Can Keep Your Child Safe From Pedestrian Crashes This Fall

Oct 9, 2020, 8:29 PM | Updated: 10:40 pm

KAYSVILLE, Utah – Pedestrian crashes and fatalities typically increase during the fall in Utah.

No matter what your child’s learning experience looks like this fall, it’s important to teach them how to be safe on Utah roads.

Many kids walk to school, but Seth and Brett Borland choose instead to ride their scooters.

“We have a little downhill on the way home. So coming to school is not fun, but the downhill on the way home is awesome,” their mom Jennifer Borland said laughing.

Seth and Brett Borland love riding their scooters to school instead of walking because they say it’s more fun and they get to school faster.(KSL-TV)  Seth and Brett Borland have been walking or riding their scooters to school for the last five years.(KSL-TV) Seth and Brett Borland love riding their scooters home from school because there is an awesome downhill they love riding down.(KSL-TV) Kristen Hoschouer urges students to only cross at designated crosswalks. (KSL-TV) Jennifer Borland says she enjoys walking with her kids to school because it allows for them to share quality time together. (KSL-TV) Seth and Brett Borland have been walking or riding their scooters to school for the last five years. (KSL-TV)

Regardless of the method, Kristen Hoschouer, safety outreach administrator with the Utah Department of Transportation encouraged students to walk, bike or even scooter to school rather than drive to reduce the number of cars on Utah roads.

She said the risk of pedestrian crashes and fatalities decreases with fewer cars on the road.

“If all the kids are walking then there won’t be very many cars around the school and so we don’t have to worry as much,” she explained.

But Hoschouer said it must be done safely. She urged students to walk on sidewalks and only cross at designated crosswalks after the crossing guard tells them it’s safe.

“If there isn’t a sidewalk, walk on the left-hand side of the road so they can see oncoming traffic,” Hoschouer said.

It requires the attention of both pedestrians and drivers.

“If we’re going down a hill and are about to cross the street, we stop and look for the cars if there’s a stop sign,” Seth described. “Always be looking for kids,” Hoschouer reminded drivers. “Definitely be attentive, especially around a school and be ready to stop. Drive slow!”

For most of the year, Utah sees anywhere from one to three fatalities a month. But Hoschouer said pedestrian fatalities typically increase from September through December.

“In [the] fall, we have four or more fatalities a month, and that’s about a 47% increase in fatalities … in the fall months,” she said.

Hoschouer urged students to wear a helmet when they are riding a bike or scooter and wear reflective gear if they’re walking in the dark. She emphasizes the importance of this especially when the sun starts to rise later and set earlier.

Jennifer’s kids have been walking or riding scooters to school for about five years now, but at first, she was nervous to send them on their own.

“We walked it together quite a few times until I felt comfortable,” she said. She sends them with other friends riding their bikes or scooters.

“If you’re concerned about your kid getting to school, make a group have one parent a week, take the group to school,” Hoschouer suggested.

For her family, Jennifer said there are clear benefits to walking to school.

“So, when they’re active, they’re happier. They’re with their friends, so they’re social.” Jennifer said.

“I get to avoid the traffic — that’s a plus,” she said. It makes for a less stressful morning.

Best of all, it allows for quality time together as a family.

“I like it when I walk with them too because we’ll chat and we’ll talk,” Jennifer said.

In addition to wearing a helmet and staying on the sidewalk, Seth and Brett have one message for their fellow classmates: Have fun!

To find the safest walking route to your child’s school, visit saferoutes.utah.gov.

If your school isn’t listed online, Hoschouer said you can ask your school administration for a map.

Your student can also participate in the monthly “Walk and Roll Challenge” where they get rewarded for walking, biking or scootering to school.

If your child is participating in online school, they can still enter the competition by walking or biking for at least 20 minutes.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Salt Lake Fire crews quickly took down a fire that was inside a detached garage Monday afternoon....

Michael Houck

SLC fire crews extinguish garage fire near Smith’s Ballpark

Salt Lake Fire crews quickly took down a fire inside a detached garage Monday afternoon.

17 hours ago

Two cars crashed...

Larry D. Curtis

Victims killed in Utah County road rage-caused collision identified

The two people killed in a road-rage-caused crash Sunday have been identified as Rodney Michal Salm, 48, from Salt Lake City and Michaela Himmleberger, 47, of holiday.

17 hours ago

Speed trackers show six different drivers traveling 100 mph or more. The Utah County Sheriff's Offi...

Cassidy Wixom

Utah County Sheriff’s Office partnership aims to reduce speeding

The Utah County Sheriff's Office is partnering with the Utah Highway Safety Office to focus on areas that have high incidences of speeding.

17 hours ago

Follow @jellis9Like us on Facebook...

Josh Ellis

Police searching for suspect after one hurt in SLC shooting

One person was shot and injured near 300 S. Main Street early Monday morning, and police say the shooter remains at large.

17 hours ago

After 14 years at the helm of the Utah Symphony, Maestro Thierry Fischer has conducted his final co...

Carole Mikita

Utah Symphony director gives final bow after 14 years

After 14 years at the helm of the Utah Symphony, Maestro Thierry Fischer has conducted his final concerts as music director.

2 days ago

A motorcycle vs. car crash has killed one man and critically injured a woman Sunday evening....

Michael Houck

Man killed, woman sent to hospital after motorcycle crash in Murray

A motorcycle vs. car crash has killed one man and critically injured a woman Sunday evening.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Brunette guy in headphones playing games on his desktop computer...

PC Laptops

Looking For a New Computer? Use This Desktop Buying Guide

Choosing a new desktop computer can come with a lot of questions, so we created this desktop buying guide.

Portrait of happy boy playing and splashing water in the swimming pool...

Get Out Pass

Family Fun Activities in Utah You Have to Try This Summer

These family fun activities will entertain you all summer, so if you ever feel stuck in a rut wondering what to do, refer to this guide!

Woman IT specialist in elegant suit working on notebook computer in data center next to server rack...

Les Olson

Your Complete Guide to Outsourcing IT Services

This guide covers everything you need to know about the different benefits of outsourcing IT services to meet your small business needs.

diverse group of friends dance outside under string lights...

Lighting Design

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Outdoor Lighting

Read for the most frequently asked questions about outdoor lighting to help narrow the search for your home.

Stack of old laptops with dark background...

PC Laptops

Old Laptop Upgrades You Need to Try Before Throwing it Away

Get the most out of your investment. Try these old laptop upgrades before throwing it out to keep it running fast and efficient.

Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...

BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.

How Walking To School Can Keep Your Child Safe From Pedestrian Crashes This Fall