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Walking to school

Prime Minister backs Walk Safely to School Day

News Article Date: 
Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Friday May 20 is National Walk Safely to School Day, with students and parents encouraged to leave the car at home and take to the city’s footpaths instead.

In an open letter, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull endorsed the initiative.

“Walking is a great way to be active and healthy and reduce the risk of chronic disease,” he said.

“If you walk more, you will be fitter, healthier and more likely to live a longer and happier life.

“This Walk Safely to School Day I encourage everyone — parents, carers and kids — to get walking and develop a healthy habit that will last a lifetime.”

Warrnambool City Council Travel Smart Officer Nicole Wood said that students could enjoy health, learning and environmental benefits by getting to school by foot or pedal power.

“We’re calling on all students to give walking or riding to school a try, or if they are already doing this, encourage their mates to join them.

“If they live too far away, catching a bus is OK or they can be dropped off a distance from school and walk the rest of the way.”

Primary school students taking part in the day will also be in the running to win prizes from their school.

Ms Wood said that while many students enjoyed walking to school, they were also receptive to important safety messages.

“Throughout the year we remind all students of their role in staying safe on the way to school no matter how they get there,” she said.

“Simple rules like stop, look, listen, think and always wearing a helmet are very important, and students are recognising this.

“Bus safety has also been a big focus recently with many students not understanding that because buses are heavy they take longer to stop and that the drivers need to concentrate, so kids need to stay in their seats.

“A recent bus safety program helped to educate more than 1800 students in Warrnambool and Moyne.”

As part of the bus safety program, Tessa Worral from St Joseph’s Primary School won a competition to design a sign for the back of a school bus to promote bus safety.

As well as transporting students to and from school, the bus is now a mobile safety message.

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