NORTH COAST- In an effort to enable children to safely walk and bike to school, local officials have teamed up to provide uniform training for crossing guards.
Through a federal grant six law enforcement agencies have been trained as crossing guard instructors and are teaching safety to school crossing guards throughout Humboldt County. In a recent “Safe Routes to School” survey parents said if there were more crossing guards they would be more likely to allow their children to walk or bike. Officials said forty years ago almost half of all children in the United States walked or biked to school and today fewer than 15 percent do.
In Humboldt County 66 percent of children are driven to school and with this new program school officials hope it will encourage children to use a more active method of transportation. Redwood Community Action Agency Senior Planner Jenny Weiss said,
“This program is really trying to institute a crossing guard program county-wide. We are training existing crossing guards and we are going to be providing bicycle and pedestrian safety education to children in the classroom. We really hope to promote active transportation and get kids physical by walking and biking to school and making sure that they are safe.”
So far Weiss said they have trained crossing guards at Cutten Elementary, Pine Hill, and schools in the Eel River Valley, Ferndale, and south Fortuna areas.