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Alaska DOT&PF Participates in International Walk to School Day

(JUNEAU, Alaska) – Tomorrow, Wednesday, Oct. 9, thousands of students, parents and communities representing more than 3,700 schools across the United States will walk and bicycle to school to celebrate International Walk to School Day. This one-day event is part of an international effort to encourage more families to get out of their cars and on to their feet to enjoy the many benefits of safely walking and bicycling to school.

Brightly-clad Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) Safe Routes to School staff, along with mascot Reflectosaurus, will join students of Kasuun Elementary School in Anchorage on their walk to school.

The goal of the event is to, through example, education and fun activity, promote and encourage safe habits in students. These include walking defensively, wearing bright colors and augmenting clothing with reflective items to help motorists see them during Alaska’s darker fall and winter months.  The event was organized by SAFE KIDS ALASKA and corporate sponsor, Fed-Ex, as part of the “Walk this Way” Pedestrian Safety Program.

When walking to or from school DOT&PF also encourages students to follow the six simple steps to staying safe:

  • When walking, stop at every curb or edge. Walk on the left, facing traffic, it’s safer.

  • Always stop, look and listen, especially while crossing. Look left, look right, then left again before stepping past any curb or edge, or when pulling out of a driveway on your bike.

  • Always wear a helmet when riding a bike.

  • Never ride against traffic. Watch for the “right hook.” Be especially careful around cars that can turn in front of you!

  • Know what signs say. Follow all traffic signs and signals.

  • See, Be Seen, Be heard. Use lights at night or when visibility is poor. Wear bright clothing and use lights and reflectors on your outer wear and gear. Remember: Be Safe, Be Seen.

To learn more about Safe Routes to School Program visit www.dot.alaska.gov/saferoutes or contact Steve Soenksen, DOT&PF Safe Routes to School Coordinator, 907-465-4069, steve.soenksen@alaska.gov.

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 254 airports, 11 ferries serving 35 communities, 5,619 miles of highway and 720 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to Keep Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.

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