OGDEN — The state wants all children to get to and from school without so much as a scratch.
The Utah Department of Transportation’s Student Neighborhood Access Program is teaming up with elementary, junior high and middle schools to give students the education and resources needed to make walking and biking to school as safe as possible.
First, the SNAP team has developed a software program that creates different safe routing “SNAP Maps” by taking safety information from schools, such as where crosswalks and crossing guards are located, local speed limits and locations of bike paths.
“All elementary, junior high and middle schools are required by law to have safe walking routes in place,” said Cherissa Wood, Utah Safe Routes to School coordinator. “So we use that information with this software to create a uniform map for the schools.”
Wood said many schools in the Salt Lake County area are already using the maps, and the state is soliciting schools that don’t yet have them.
“We’ve had a really good response from the schools who use them,” Wood said.
UDOT premiered a new safe-walking video called “SNAP, Walk ‘n Roll: The Movie.”
An original 30-minute musical about walking and biking safely to school, the video aims to educate students, parents, school administrators and crossing guards about how to make walking and biking to school safe.
Wood said the film is an adaptation of the live “SNAP, Walk ’n Roll” assembly the state created in 2009. The video features original songs and many styles of music, ranging from country to hip-hop, Wood said.
“We’ve tried to make it fun, so that it will have a bigger impact on the kids, and some of this information will start to stick,” she said.
UDOT Region One spokesman Vic Saunders said the video is a cost-efficient way to ensure that as many schools as possible see the presentation.
The maps and the video are free to all Utah schools. For more information, visit udot.utah.gov/snap.