Editorial: Program a good step to get school kids out of cars

Children, families must feel confident in ability to walk or roll to school safely

Willows elementary is getting regional support in the bid to get more students out of cars and onto their feet during their daily school commute.

The Capital Regional District’s Active and Safe Routes to School project encourages students and families to walk, bike, bus or roll to school more often during their commutes to school. Willows is among 20 schools participating in the program.

A travel planning facilitator will engage students, teachers, parents, school board, municipal transportation planners and engineers, public health and local law enforcement agencies to address traffic and transportation challenges.

“We’ll find where the problem areas are and identify the safety issues and work together to solve them,” notes Oak Bay Coun. Michelle Kirby.

For students, that may mean maps of the best routes, park-and-walk stations, bike skills courses, skateboard repair workshops and walk-to-school days, among others. In addition to infrastructure, the program explores behaviour, enforcement and education.

Safety goes hand-in-hand with instilling in children early the value of moving about on their own power. If children don’t feel safe – or their parents don’t feel it’s safe for them – the likelihood of getting students out of the car is minimal.

Children must be confident in their ability to navigate both route and traffic, which these days includes more and more cars, bikes, skateboards, scooters and others.

But the value of doing so reaches beyond the immediate physical and mental health benefits of the program.

The measure sets the foundation for a life-long attitude shift toward the importance of exercise, not to mention the environmental payoff of having fewer cars making the loop to school morning and afternoon.

And that’s good for everyone.

 

Just Posted

National championship tees off Tuesday at Oak Bay’s Victoria Golf Club

Oldest 18-hole course in Canada in its original location hosts Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship

New Victoria bus routes bound for airport, Camosun College

Bus routes and schedules are about to change this fall, and two… Continue reading

Michael Silberbauer named first coach of Pacific FC

The Island’s James Merriman named assistant coach

Police seek vehicle after early morning carjacking in Oak Bay

Stolen car is a 1999 Oldsmobile Alero, license plate FL307T

Salmon Fest serves up support for Kiwanis Pavilion

Scrumptious fundraiser enjoys success for second year

Oak Bay brothers scoop 10 kg of poop from park paths in 30 mins

Family picks up dog poo to give back, inspire others to be more responsible

Zeballos wildfire not getting any closer to town – BC Wildfire Service

Authorities optimistic about Zeballos; choppers grounded due to heavy smoke

Kids, seniors at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control says children’s lungs don’t fully develop until about age 10

B.C. mother charged in 7-year-old daughter’s death appears in court

The 36-year-old mother, of Langley’s Aaliyah Rosa, has been charged with second-degree murder

UPDATE: Saanich Police seek to identify suspect in sexual assault

Assault occurred in broad daylight in tent near Ravine Way

VIDEO: Teen soccer phenomenon Alphonso Davies to visit B.C. kids camp

The 17-year-old Vancouver Whitecap player is one of the youngest players in MLS history

New plan to lift more than two million people past the poverty line

Anti-poverty strategy will aim for 50 per cent cut in low-income rates: source

Liberals scrap lottery system for reuniting immigrants with their parents

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

Another person stabbed at a tent city on Vancouver Island

Incident happened Friday afternoon in Nanaimo; injuries were not severe