Communities across the United States are participating in National Walk to School Day on October 2.

Coordinated by the National Center for Safe Routes to School, the event highlights the health benefits of walking to school and the need for safe places for students to walk and bike to school.

Local law enforcement agencies across the nation will be working with schools, parents and caretakers to make sure students walking or biking are getting to class safely. This includes helping crossing guards and reminding drivers to look for children crossing the street, especially near schools during morning pick-up and drop-off times.

The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) is supporting efforts from schools across the California to help ensure the safe participation of families in the event.

“Creating a safe environment for children to get to and from school is important in every community,” said OTS Director Barbara Rooney. “It allows students to utilize alternative transportation options that make going to school an enjoyable experience.”

When walking or biking to school, the OTS reminds parents and guardians of important safety tips to teach children when they are on the go:

  • Look left-right-left before crossing the street. Continue looking for cars as you cross.
  • Use crosswalks whenever possible, preferably at stop signs or signals.
  • Make eye contact with drivers. Make sure they see you before crossing the street.
  • Walk with friends or a group.
  • Avoid using a cell phone or listening to music while walking.

More than 400 schools throughout California are signed up this year for Walk to School Day events.