Media Contact: Tiffani Nichols, Scottsdale Fire Department
(480) 312-1816 office or PIO pager (602) 229-9640
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Feb. 16, 2010) This winter, Scottsdale Fire Department introduced a new program to pre-K through first grade classes involving transportation safety. The program encourages good choices on the road and teaches kids the basics of safety whether they are riding in a car, walking on the street or hopping on bikes or scooters to get where they’re going.
This new program is being offered in partnership with City of Scottsdale Transportation and Police Departments, as well as Scottsdale Healthcare to encourage more children to walk to school, use helmets while on wheels and stay active through walking programs such as the Grand Canyon Trekkers.
Key components of this program are centered on the book “Watch Out! On the Road,” that discusses the importance of road safety. Throughout, children are given the opportunity to think independently about what might happen if they do not pay attention to road safety issues. It encourages them to think about safety first and how they can make themselves safe.
According to the US Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, children aged five through 15 represent only 16 percent of the U.S. population. Yet they accounted for 30 percent of all pedestrian injuries, which includes bicycles. Additionally, the No. 1 case of unintentional injury and death for children ages 1-17 is in car crashes.
The injury and fatality rates for young pedestrians and riders are troubling, but they can be changed. Kids can be taught to be more careful in and around moving vehicles. Programs to educate children to stop and look left, right and left before entering the street have been successful in reducing these injuries and deaths. Communities are also using more calming traffic devices to reduce the severity and number of pedestrian crashes. As traffic slows down, children have a better chance of avoiding injury and death.
For more information, please contact Public Education Officer Lori Schmidt at (480) 312-1817 or lschmidt@ScottsdaleAZ.gov.