Walk to School Month
Be active, be healthy, have fun. Let’s walk and roll to school!
October is Walk to School Month. Walking and rolling (e.g. traveling by bike, scooter, wheelchair or other mobility device) are healthy and fun ways to make the journey to and from school. By walking or rolling to school, you and your children will be contributing to safer streets, a greener environment and promoting a healthy lifestyle by example. Plus, it just feels good to be active!
This month, whether you’re a student or the parent or guardian of school-aged children, take up the “One Walk a Week” challenge to walk or roll to or from school at least one day more per week than you usually do. If you or your children take the school bus, challenge yourselves to walk to the bus stop. If you live far from school, try parking 5 minutes or more from the school and walk the rest of the way.
Find the custom routes to your school, including locations of trails and 5-minute and 10-minute walking distances.
You’re encouraged to track the number of times you or your children walk or roll to or from school using our digital certificate. Use the certificate to share your accomplishment on social media using the hashtag #WalkToSchoolSauga.
Plan for Success
Before you get ready to walk and roll to school, review the tips below for a fun and safe journey.
Did you Know?
Mississauga’s Walk to School Month Campaign is part of the larger “International Walk to School Month” campaign that happens each October. For more ideas and resources from other parts of Canada, check out:
Ontario Active School Travel’s International Walk to School Month page
How many times did you walk or roll to or from school this month? Download and personalize your digital certificate, and share your accomplishment on social media using the hashtag #WalkToSchoolSauga.
Walking to school
Make it Fun!
- Make the walk a chance to connect with others by walking with friends who share your route.
- Try activities like this “I-Spy” card, and compete with your friends walking along different routes to see who can find the most interesting things along the way to school.
- Try a new route to school. Practice it first to make sure you give yourself enough time to enjoy the journey.
Make it safe!
- When walking on shared paths, keep to the right and be aware of faster moving people who may want to pass, such as those on scooters or bikes.
- Avoid crossing the street midblock, and never cross between parked or stopped vehicles.
- Be extra aware in areas with lots of driveways. Drivers may be reversing and may have a hard time seeing you.
- Learn more about general pedestrian safety rules and tips.
Biking to school
Make it Fun!
- Plan a “bike train” with friends who share your route. Have someone who is an experienced cyclist lead the way.
- Try a new route to school. Practice it first to make sure you give yourself enough time. You can plan your route using the Mississauga Cycling Map to find multi-use trails, park pathways and bike lanes on your route to school. Note: Small children may ride on the sidewalk.
Make it safe!
- It is legally required for those under the age of 18 to wear a helmet when riding their bike – it is strongly recommended that everyone wear a helmet.
- Make sure your bike is in safe working order and has a bell, light and reflector before you head out.
- Bring a bike lock to secure your bike once you arrive at school.
- Obey all traffic signals/signs and trail signs.
- Learn and use the proper hand signals to let others know when you are planning to turn or stop.
- Pass on the left. Use your bell or give a friendly verbal warning when preparing to pass someone.
- Slow down around pedestrians and use extra caution when approaching seniors, children and pets.
- Learn more about general cycling safety rules and tips.
Taking the school bus to school
Getting to/from the bus stop:
- Instead of driving, walk to/from the bus stop. (See “Walking to School” for tips to make the walk fun and safe!).
Getting on the bus:
- Wait for the bus at a safe place away from the road.
- Wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before approaching.
Getting off the bus:
- Look both directions before crossing the street.
- Always cross the road in front of the bus, never behind.
- Do not run across the road.
- If you are standing too close to the bus, a driver cannot see you. This is known as the “danger zone”. Do your best to stay at least ten steps away from the bus on all sides.
Driving to school
- Consider parking at a distance 5 minutes or more from the school, so that you and your children can walk partway to school.
- Drive slowly. Children’s movements can be unpredictable and they may cross without warning.
- Look out for children who may cross unexpectedly.
- Yield the right-of-way to pedestrians when turning at all intersections and crosswalks. Follow the directions of crossing guards when present.
- Come to a complete stop at all stop signs and check your surroundings before entering the intersection.
- Follow the rules of your school’s drop-off and pick-up to ensure traffic flows smoothly and safely.
- Engage in aggressive driving such as: speeding, overtaking, disobeying traffic controls, making u-turns, parking near stop signs, double parking, dropping children off mid-block and failing to yield right-of-way.
- Pass a school bus when its stop sign is out and red lights are flashing.
- Text or talk on the phone or engage in any other form of distracted driving.
- Stop in “no stopping zones”, even if only for a moment to drop off your child.
- Double park or stop within crosswalks. This can block visibility of pedestrians and drivers.