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Program encourages child pedestrian safety

If you are a parent of a child who walks or bikes to school, you likely know how important it is that he or she takes the safest route available. This would be a route that limits a child's exposure to heavy traffic and has crosswalks with traffic lights, stop signs or crossing guards.

The State of Rhode Island is also aware of the importance of child pedestrian safety. To this end, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation has given more than $4.6 million to state schools to be part of the Safe Routes to School National Program.

The SRTS Program has its origins in Europe and has found acceptance in the United States. Starting as pilot programs in various states and towns, Safe Routes to School initiatives now exist in every state thanks to federal legislation.

The goal of the program is to help enable and encourage children to walk or bike safely to school. SRTS encourages participants to work on improving infrastructure to create a better environment for child pedestrians. This can include building more sidewalks and crosswalks as well as making needed repairs on those already in place.

Hopefully, SRTS will prove successful in helping to keep children safe as they travel to and from school. However, motorists also play a role in this very important endeavor. As such, drivers should always obey the speed limits imposed by school zones and keep their eyes open for young walkers and bike riders.

If a child is struck by an automobile, he or she could suffer serious injuries that could prove life-altering. The child may need expensive long-term care and accommodations.

If your child has been injured in an auto-pedestrian accident, you may want to discuss what happened with a personal injury attorney. An attorney can look at your child's full medical needs and work with insurance companies in an effort to secure appropriate compensation.

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