Kendra Wood, a fifth grader from Creekview Elementary was the recipient of the prize.
Walk More in Four encouraged all Utah K-8 students to walk or bike to school at least three days each week during the four weeks in September. More than 7,500 students statewide formed the habit of walking and biking safely to school at the start of the academic year and charted their progress for a chance to win the donated prizes.
"We commend this exemplary student for starting the school year off on the right foot by walking safely school and for setting a good example for her peers statewide," said Robert Hull, UDOT Director of Traffic and Safety. "Students who continue to walk and ride their bikes to school not only stay active but also help reduce traffic congestion around schools, making these areas safer."
Nationwide, the number of students walking and biking to school has significantly decreased in recent decades. In 1969, approximately 50 percent of children walked or biked to school. Today, that number has dropped below 15 percent.
UDOT SNAP's goal is to increase the number of students walking and biking to school year-round, making the roads around schools safer and encouraging these healthy activities. As winter weather approaches, parents can help their children practice safe walking and biking habits by discussing the following safety tips.
•Follow the safest route to school using the school's SNAP Map (contact the school for a copy).
•Wear bright clothing or reflective gear, especially when riding a bicycle or scooter, to make it easier for traffic to see you - or tie a bright handkerchief around your backpack.
• Dress in layers, wear boots with nonskid soles and wear gloves to keep your hands free.
•Walk on sidewalks when possible; if sidewalks are covered in snow and ice, walk in the street against the flow of traffic and as close to the curb as possible.
•Look left, then right, then left again when crossing a street.
•Before stepping off the curb into the street where ice and snow are present, make sure any approaching vehicles have come to a complete stop.
•Cross only at crosswalks. Obey directions from school crossing guards, and walk bikes and scooters across crosswalks.
• Always wear a helmet when riding a bike or scooter. Make sure the helmet has a safety certification and fits properly.
• Never walk or ride with headphones. They are distracting and keep you from hearing traffic.
• Walk with a buddy or group.
The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) Student Neighborhood Access Program (SNAP)â¢ is a fun and comprehensive program for walking and biking safely to school that engages and educates students, parents, school administrators, crossing guards and communities. As part of the federal Safe Routes to School program administered by UDOT, SNAP focuses on student safety as its first priority. SNAP provides free resources, including mapping software, a 35-minute musical assembly and DVD, student activity booklets and teacher lesson plans, to encourage students to walk and bike safely to school.
More tips and resources are available to parents and school administrators at udot.utah.gov/snap or by calling Cherissa Wood at 801-965-4486.