Walking to school may result in cleaner air and healthier bodies, but a number of Davis County students earned an additional benefit when they won bikes and helmets for their efforts.
In an initiative sponsored by the Utah Department of Transportation, students throughout the state were encouraged to “Walk More in Four” during the month of September, by walking or biking to school at least three times a week for four weeks.
By tracking their progress, nearly 4,500 students across the state entered for a chance to win prizes from UDOT’s Student Neighborhood Access Program’s competition.
Those in Davis County who won a bike and a helmet were Savannah Rawlings, a fifth grader at Foxboro Elementary; Lilly Peterson, a second grader at Stewart Elementary in Centerville, Caden DeVore, a fifth grader at Woods Cross Elementary; Bryson Fellows, a fourth grader at Antelope in Clearfield; and Todd Handy, a fourth grader at Lakeside in Layton.
A scooter and helmet went to Jeremy Hulse, a third grader at Snow Horse in Kaysville; Tyler Nicol, a third grader at Bluff Ridge in Syracuse; Christian Berg, a second grader at Wasatch Elementary in Clearfield; Boston Adcox and Wesley Cook, second graders at Hill Field Elementary in Clearfield; and Brooklyn Christensen, a kindergartner at Layton Elementary.
“Students who continue to walk and ride their bikes to school are helping achieve cleaner air, safer roads and healthier habits,” said Carlos Braceras, UDOT executive director, in a press release.
With winter ahead, UDOT encourages parents to help their children follow the safest route if they’re walking or riding to school. Children are also encouraged to travel with a buddy or group, wear bright clothing in layers with boots with non-skid soles, and wear gloves to keep hands free.
“Walk on sidewalks when possible,” advised the release, “if sidewalks are covered in snow and ice, walk in the street against the flow of traffic and as close to the curb as possible.”
Children should look left, then right, then left again before crossing streets, cross only at crosswalks, make sure approaching vehicles come to a complete stop and follow directions of crossing guards.
Students riding bikes should always wear a helmet and never ride with headphones.
About 50 percent of children walked or biked to school in 1969, according to the release. That number dropped to 13 percent by 2009. The goal of UDOT SNAP is to increase that percentage and keep roads safer and kids healthier.
More information can be found at udot.utah.gov/snap.