MDOT Funds Safe Routes to School Program

By NEMS Daily Journal

JACKSON, MISS – Every year, about 25,000 child pedestrians are injured by motor vehicles. Reducing the risk of injury includes teaching children pedestrian and bicycle skills and offering safer and more appealing transportation alternatives. It also means reminding drivers to watch for others using the road.

Safe Routes to School Program promotes bicycling and walking to schools and provides an opportunity to address safety. Due to their dedication to safety, the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) will be providing funds for bettering the safety infrastructure around schools and creating awareness in the City of Baldwyn. The project included repairing and construction of sidewalks downtown in the City of Baldwyn that will greatly improve walking routes to and from Baldwyn Elementary School, Baldwyn Middle School, and Baldwyn High School. The sidewalks will be constructed along Main Street from Cemetery Street to Jones Street and along Second Street from Clayton Street to Cox Street at an approximate cost of $391,000.

This project is 100% funded by the Federal Highway Administration authorized in the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU).

The purpose of the Safe Routes to School program is to enable and encourage children to walk and bicycle to school safely. This includes raising the awareness of the safety issues children and their families face when trying to walk/bike to school. Encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age is vitally important, according to Cookie Leffler, Safe Routes to School Coordinator. “The program facilitates the planning, development and implementation of projects and activities that will improve safety and reduce traffic congestion, fuel consumption, and air pollution in the vicinity of primary and middle schools (grades K-8),” she said.

For more information about Mississippi’s Safe Routes to School Program, please contact Cookie Leffler, MDOT SRTS Coordinator at (601) 359-1454 or email her at cleffler@mdot.state.ms.us or visit www.mdottrafficsafety.com.

For the most up-to-date information in your area, please visit www.MSTraffic.com and sign up for your traffic alerts. Also, visit http://www.mstraffic.com/mobile to get the latest traffic information from MSTraffic.com on your mobile device. MDOT advises the public to pull off the road to a safe location if you need to check the MSTraffic.com website while driving. MDOT’s number one concern is the safety of the traveling public.