Safe Routes to School

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The Butte County Safe Routes to School program works in schools throughout Butte County educating students on how to safely commute to school. Whether it's riding a bike or scooter, walking, or riding the school bus, students are taught skills on how to be safe pedestrians in their community.

Walking, biking, and using school bus transportation help reduce congestion around schools and creates a healthier environment for all while reducing our carbon footprint. These alternatives also increase exercise and create long-term healthy habits for young children.

Safe Routes to School Activities & Events

Bike Rodeo

Bike rodeos provide students with an opportunity to gain hands-on training while having fun navigating a technical course. With the help of trained safety educators, students learn how to properly fit a helmet, maneuver through obstacles, ride in a straight line, use their hand signals, how to be a safe and predictable bicyclist, and more!

In-Class Lessons

In-class lessons are packed with easy-to-follow instructions on how to safely walk and ride to school. Health educators conduct interactive lessons highlighting the importance of pedestrian safety through videos, games, exciting experiments, and question and answer. Teachers also have opportunities to continue the lessons throughout the year in greater detail by following the lesson plans in the pedestrian and bicycle resource manuals created by the Butte County Safe Routes staff.

National Walk to School Day

Walk to School LogoEvery year on the first Wednesday in October, during Walk to School Month, hundreds of thousands of students, parents, school officials, and local leaders participate in this nationwide event to highlight the importance of safer, more active transportation for youth in their local communities. Additionally, National Bike to School Day takes place in early May and is celebrated all month long. Both days are fantastic opportunities to take an active role in ensuring the safety of your community.

Visit the National Walk to School Day website for more information.

Walk Audits & Road Infrastructure

In 2011 Butte County Public Works and Butte County Public Health collaborated on the writing of a Federal Safe Routes to School Grant to increase the walk / bike-ability around Oakdale Heights Elementary School in Oroville.

Public Works designed enhancements for:

  • Infrastructure around the school to provide much-needed sidewalks
  • ADA corners
  • Pedestrian-controlled crossing signals
  • Speed monitors
  • Re-routing crosswalks

These enhancements allow children to walk on sidewalks where there once was only dirt and to cross with a clear signal to motorists using Las Plumas Avenue. Public Health has been providing pedestrian and bike education to the students at the school since the early 2000s.

As our work persists, we will continue to partner with local schools and community partners to identify infrastructure improvements needed in our local communities.

Bus Safety

Students are about 70 times more likely to get to school safely when taking a bus instead of traveling by car. That's because school buses are the most regulated vehicles on the road; they're designed to be safer than passenger vehicles in preventing crashes and injuries; and in every state, stop-arm laws protect children from other motorists.

Get On & Off Safely

When the school bus arrives, your child should wait until the bus comes to a complete stop, the door opens, and the driver says it's okay before approaching the bus door. Your child should use the handrails to avoid falling.

Use Caution Around the Bus

Your child should never walk behind a school bus. If your child must cross the street in front of the bus, tell him/her to walk on a sidewalk or along the side of the street to a place at least five giant steps (15 feet) in front of the bus before crossing. Your child should also make eye contact with the bus driver before crossing to make sure the driver can see him/her. If your child drops something near the school bus, like a ball or book, the safest thing is for your child to tell the bus driver right away. Your child should not try to pick up the item, because the driver might not be able to see him/her.