Rep. Sutherland sponsors Walk/Bicycle to School Day/Safe Routes Resolution

Representative Mike Sutherland, one of the biggest supporters of bicycling and walking issues in the Missouri General Assembly, is set to introduce a resolution in support of Walk/Bicycle to School Day and the Safe Routes to School program in Missouri.

If you would like to drop Rep. Sutherland a quick email of thanks and encouragement, that would be great:
Representative Mike Sutherland
573-751-2689 (Capitol office)
E-Mail: Mike.Sutherland@house.mo.gov
Here is a early draft version of the resolution:

Safe Routes to Schools and Walk and Bicycle To School Month Resolution

Whereas the health and safety of our children is of highest concern to the citizens of Missouri

Whereas promoting safe and healthful walking and bicycling to school is of importance to Missouri parents and teachers and has been shown to improve student's health and academic performance

Whereas, a lack of physical activity plays a leading role in rising rates of obesity, diabetes and other health problems among children and being able to walk or bicycle to school offers an opportunity to build healthful physical activity into daily routine.

Whereas, driving students to school by private vehicle contributes significantly to traffic congestion and air pollution.

Whereas, an important role for parents and caregivers is to teach children about pedestrian safety and become aware of the difficulties and dangers that children face on their trip to school each day and the health and environmental risks related to physical inactivity and air pollution.

Whereas the number of children walking and bicycling to school has decreased dramatically in recent years, with less than 10% walking or bicycling to school now compared with 66% just 35 years ago

Whereas, serious injury and death of hundreds of children nationwide could be saved each year if communities take steps to make bicycle and pedestrian safety a priority.

Whereas the Safe Routes to Schools program is recognized nationally and internationally as being effective in solving these problems and has been successfully piloted in several Missouri communities.

Whereas local Safe Routes to Schools efforts combining engineering, enforcement, encouragement, and education have been shown to improve schoolchildren's health, mobility, safety, and academic performance.

Whereas "International Walk to School Month" in October and "International Walk to School Day", the first Wednesday in October, have proven to be helpful in creating and promoting local Safe Routes to Schools programs across the United States and throughout the world.

Now, therefore, be it resolved that the members of the House of Representatives of the Ninety-third General Assembly, First Regular Session, the Senate concurring therein, hereby commends and encourages the Safe Routes to Schools Program overseen at the state level by the Missouri Department of Transportation and on the local level by many individuals, agencies, and schools.

Be it further resolved that the creation of and participation in local Safe Routes to Schools programs in communities throughout Missouri be encouraged.

Be it further resolved that the needed cooperation and partnership among students, parents, teachers, parent-teacher groups, community leaders, community groups, public works departments, law enforcement agencies, school districts, the Missouri Department of Transportation, and other departments and agencies of local and state government, to create successful Safe Routes to School programs be commended and encouraged.

Be it further resolved that October 2006 be proclaimed "Missouri Walk and Bicycle to School Month" and October 4, 2006 be proclaimed "Missouri Walk and Bicycle to School Day".
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