Every Child Travels Safely

The mission of NYS PTA is to be a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for the education and wellbeing of every child.

The Every Child Travels Safely initiative will focus on transportation safety and see that children and caregivers increase safety in all aspects of child travel.

Make sure you check out the Governor’s Office of Traffic Safety Kids Pages!

Lucky the Traffic Safety Dog

The New York State PTA, in collaboration with The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, is pleased to present “Lucky, the Traffic Safety Dog”, in his virtual video learning adventures series, with accompanying lesson plans and activities. This virtual video adventure series is available to PTA units, schools, families studying at home. You can find the videos and activities below.

 This campaign is a re-imagined, virtual version to the in-person “Every Child Travels Safely” program that delivered important child safety topic information like, walking to school, bike riding to school, bus safety, and more! This new program is in English and Spanish with other languages in development.

Lucky the Traffic Dog Video – Spanish Version

Lucky the Traffic Dog Discussion Points

Lucky the Traffic Dog Discussion Points – Spanish Version

Additional Resources:

NYS PTA has proudly advocated for child safety issues in a number of traffic related areas for many  years.  In our policy document entitled “Where We Stand” we have delineated our positions on many issues, including:

  • School bus stop vulnerability;
  • Penalties for passing a stopped school bus;
  • Scooter, skateboard and in-line skating protective gear;
  • Revising New York State Department of Transportation Child Safety Zone Point System;
  • Bicycle Helmet Law
  • Charter Bus Safety;
  • Identifying unsafe school crossings on state owned roads;
  • Traffic light installation at schools which are located on state owned roads;
  • Seat belt usage on school buses;
  • Safety items on school buses;
  • Change in the vehicle traffic law pertaining to stopped school buses; and
  • Monitors on school buses.

Pedestrian Safety

While there has been a decline in walking and biking to school,[4] there is still a significant minority who does walk or bike to school. Research shows that children who live closer to school buildings have higher rates of pedestrian and bicycling rate than others.[5]

Unintentional pedestrian injuries are the fifth highest cause of injury-related deaths for 5-19 year old children and young adults.[7]  Teenagers have twice the death rate of younger children in pedestrian related accidents.[8]

The New York State Department of Health also keeps state records,[19] which paint a sobering picture of pedestrian safety.

  • 1.6 of every 100,000 New Yorkers or on average 312 deaths annually, are due to pedestrian related accidents;[20]
  • On average, 3,027 New York residents are hospitalized annually due to pedestrian-motor vehicle accident related injuries;[21]
  • 12,506 visits annually to emergency rooms are due to pedestrian-motor vehicle accident related injuries.[22]

Bicycle/Scooter/Helmet Safety

The New York Health Department also keeps records on bicyclist accident related deaths and injuries.[23]

  • The highest rates for hospitalization stemming from motor vehicle accidents involving a bicyclist are for young adults ages 20-24 and the highest rates for emergency room visits were for teenagers 15-19 years old.[25]

Again, while there is a decline in children bicycling to school, there is still a significant minority of students using this mode of transportation – especially if the family lives close to the school building.[26]

Further, the risk for head injuries falls by 45% when children are wearing properly fitted helmets.[28] Sadly, less than 50% of children under the age of 14 usually wear a bicycle helmet.[29]

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is bicycle-safety-infographic-410x1024.png

Personal Vehicular Safety and Car Seat Safety

Motor vehicle accident deaths continue to be a leading cause of death across our country and state.[30]

Young drivers (ages 16-19) have the highest rates of crashes as compared to other age groups.[33] Accidents (not solely motor-vehicle accidents) continue to be the leading cause of death for ALL age groups of children and young adults in New York.[34]

  • Teenage children and young adults are more likely to be treated in emergency departments for crash-related injuries compared to any other age group.[37]

The New York Health Department also keeps records on motor vehicle accident related deaths.[38]

  • Teens ages 15-19 were in one of the highest categories for emergency room visits related to motor vehicle accidents.[40]
  • There have been, on average, 292 deaths of vehicle occupants due to traffic accidents, with highest rates for young adults 20-24 years old.[41]

Further, car seat safety and correct usage is critical to save lives and prevent injury.

The Centers for Disease Control found that in one year alone, more than 618,000 children under the age of 12 were occupants in vehicles without the appropriate use of a child safety seat, booster seat or seatbelt.[42]

Caregivers often fail to realize that a child should be in a car seat, and then a booster seat, until they are at least 4’9” and/or 80-100 lbs.[45]

According to the National Transportation Highway Safety Administration, school busses continue to be one of the safest modes of transportation,[46] yet this may be unknown to caregivers.

Public Transportation Safety

In many areas of our state, children are taking public transportation to and from school. 

Thankfully, the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee has information[49] on safe public transportation for children and families, but there are few other resources for families.

Family and Educator Materials

Kids Activity Pages

Regional Events

Please contact our office to set up an event at your school.

Traffic and Safety Videos