By Maria Sweezy, Events / Programs Associate
In correspondence with the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee through NHTSA, NYS PTA offers grant funded traffic safety programs for all local PTAs across the state of New York.
These programs are arranged by your local PTA collaborating with community partners under the assistance of NYS PTA staff. Many local units incorporate bike rodeos, partnering with local fire and police departments, and car seat safety into their program. These programs are completely free of charge for local PTAs and an excellent way to educate our kids on important traffic safety matters as well as build long lasting community relationships.
This program allows for plenty of room for local PTAs to take on fresh perspectives of important issues. Recent reports and statistics suggest that unsafe drop off/pick-up practices at schools were observed in nearly 1 out of 3 drivers, according to Alarming Dangers in School Zones which is cited in the grant funding of our program.
With an increase in technology becoming a huge part of our daily lives, 1 in 4 high school students and 1 in 6 middle school students are reported as distracted walkers. The NYS Department of Health noted in their records that 1.6 out of every 100,000 New Yorkers, or on average 312 deaths annually, are due to pedestrian related accidents. Educating our youth on safe traffic practices is paramount in changing these sobering statistics. Our local units have made everlasting impacts on their youth by tailoring this program to the needs of their communities.
This spring we have several PTAs which are taking advantage of Every Child Travels Safely. Every event is unique and a representation of the local PTA. NYS PTA provides basic planning tools but local PTAs remain in control of the substance of these programs.
We are very excited to partake in these programs this spring and get our youth out on their bikes, educated on traffic safety, and ensure that they are practicing safe walking to and from school. If you are interested in hosting a traffic safety program this upcoming Fall 2019 at your local PTA, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.