05 October 2010



Contact: Leticia Messam, Manager, AAA Traffic Safety Programs, (813) 288-7988 office
(813) 786-7830 cell, LMessam@AAASouth.com

TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 5, 2010)—Across the globe, millions of children, parents, and school officials will celebrate International Walk to School Day in an effort to promote physical activity, encourage safe pedestrian habits and highlight the environmental benefits of walking. Less than 50 percent of students who live closer than a mile from school opt to walk, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. AAA encourages parents to walk with their children to school tomorrow in an effort to promote health and teach their children safe walking habits. More than 585,000 AAA School Safety Patrollers in 30,000 schools across the United States will participate in the event tomorrow, like every other day, keep children safe as they travel to and from school.


In 2009, approximately 13,000 child pedestrians age 14 and younger were injured in motor vehicles crashes. Education and public awareness of traffic safety issues are vital to the reduction of such injuries and fatalities.

“Parents are key in setting the safety standards for their children. Establishing the safest route to and from school and pointing out potential dangers are essential," said Leticia Messam, Manager, AAA Traffic Safety Programs. "Opportunities like International Walk to School Day are perfect for facilitating discussion and providing lessons in traffic safety."
AAA encourages children who walk to school to:
  • Follow the guidance of crossing guards and AAA School Safety Patrollers.
  • Cross the street at corners and intersections whenever possible, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
  • Never run out into the streets or cross between parked cars.
  • Always walk at least 10 feet in front of the bus where the driver can see them.
AAA encourages motorists to:
  • Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods and school zones.
  • Take extra time to look for children at intersections, medians and on curbs.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
  • Watch for children on and near the road in the morning and after school hours.
  • Allow extra time on your morning and afternoon commute.
  • Reduce any distractions inside your vehicle that take focus off the road and your surroundings.
AAA Auto Club South has 79 branch offices serving more than 4.1 million members in Florida, Georgia, West and Middle Tennessee and Puerto Rico. Since its founding in 1938, AAA Auto Club South has worked to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve travel safety.

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AAA Auto Club South, 1515 N West Shore Blvd, Tampa, FL 33607-4505 United States