Tour the World
See below for a comprehensive listing of Safe Routes to School programs from around the world. Enjoy the journey .
Active Transportation Safety Education Programs
Action Schools BC (www.actionschoolsbc.ca) promotes healthy choices for students through six main actions: school environment, scheduled physical education, classroom action, family and community, extra-curricular and school spirit. Their website provides resources to help increase healthy living in all six categories.
Australia’s Walking School Bus Guide (www.travelsmart.gov.au/schools/pubs/guide.pdf) provides parents and teachers with direction on how to start their own WSB and includes testimonials from people who have been involved in the initiative. Links to specific WSB programs across Australia are also provided.
A Bikeability Toolkit from New South Wales in Australia can be accessed on Bicycle NSW’s website: http://www.bicyclensw.org.au/content/bikeability-toolkit. You’ll find other great bike-related resources on this site, too.
Bike Smarts is an instructor's handbook to assist children ages seven to 13 to learn safe cycling skills. It can be downloaded on the Insurance Corporation of BC’s resources page: www.icbc.com/4teachers.
Bike Sense: The British Columbia Bicycle Operator’s Manual (www.bikesense.bc.ca) is a cycling safety resource that has been written and reviewed by professional cycling skills instructors, cycling advocacy organizations, bicycle trained police officers and provincial authorities responsible for making and interpreting BC’s traffic laws.
Cyclist Bike List: The Book for Every Rider by Laura Robinson (ISBN 978-0-88776-784-5 from Tundra Books) combines cycling history with useful and fun information, including tips for the way to dress for safe and efficient biking; what to eat for maximum body efficiency; and how to select and maintain a bike. Ordering copies of the book through Green Communities Canada entitles you to a 50% discount.
The Heart and Stroke Foundation (www.heartandstroke.ca) has many resources dedicated to increasing children’s health and wellness, including tips for staying healthy through physical activity, at school, and in the community. Their Shaping Healthy Active Communities toolkit and Position Statement on the Built Environment, Physical Activity, Heart Disease and Stroke are both valuable documents in support of AT-friendly communities.
Ideas for fun, cycle-friendly initiatives can be found on HRM’s Bike Week website: http://www.halifax.ca/bikeweek/index.html. Bike Week is held each year in late May – early June, and is organized by the Halifax Regional Municipality.
The International Bicycle Fund (www.ibike.org/education) offers educational programs and resources around cycling skills and safety for children, youth and adults, including how to cycle, fitting your bike, and bicycle driver training.
The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Centre (www.walkinginfo.org) is a US-based clearinghouse for a variety of walking and wheeling information. As their web address indicates, they focus especially on providing information, solutions and resources for pedestrians, including pedestrian safety training courses and inspiring community case studies.
Safe Routes: the National Centre for Safe Routes to School (USA) produces Teaching Children to Walk Safely as They Grow and Develop: A guide for parents and caregivers (www.saferoutesinfo.org/resources/education_teachingchildren.cfm). This guide is intended to help parents and caregivers match their guidance and expectations with their children's abilities as they learn pedestrian safety.
Alberta Transportation’s Traffic Safety in Alberta: Just for Kids (http://www.saferoads.com/safety/kids.html) offers three versions of their “Kinetic Kids Traffic Safety Workbook” – one for grades kindergarten to grade one, a second for grades two to three, and another for grades four to six. The workbooks focus on walking, cycling, skateboarding and in-line skating and school bus safety, and includes a resource guide for teachers.
The Walking School Bus: Combining Safety, Fun and the Walk to School (http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/guide/walking_school_bus/index.cfm) is a guide developed by the US’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Centre. The resource addresses how to decide if a WSB is the right fit for your community, how to structure your program, important safety elements, and inspiring examples.
Walking and Wheeling Advocacy Programs and Resources
America Walks (www.americawalks.org) is a national non-profit that aims to engage, educate and connect walking advocates. The organization provides a web-based, online support network for local pedestrian advocacy groups as a means to promote walkable communities.
The British Columbia Cycling Coalition (www.bccc.bc.ca) and the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition (www.vacc.bc.ca) are two BC-based organizations that advocate for transportation-related bicycle use and safety.
Canada Walks (www.canadawalks.ca) brings together a diverse group of projects with a focus on promoting walking and walkable communities. The idea for Canada Walks was born out of the growing demand for knowledge, expertise and networks from organizations and communities across Canada.
Feet First (www.feetfirst.info) is a Seattle-based organization committed to building walkable communities in Washington State. In addition to general walking advocacy, they organize Safe Routes to School programs and other walking initiatives for children, youth and their families across Washington.
The Partnership for a Walkable America (www.walkableamerica.org) is a national coalition working to improve the conditions for walking in America and to increase the number of Americans who walk regularly. The members are national governmental agencies and non-profit organizations concerned about three main areas: Health, Safety and the Environment.
Ontario’s Saving Time and Money with Active School Travel (http://www.saferoutestoschool.ca/downloads/Saving_Money_and_Time_with_AT-Final-Sept_2010.pdf) is a document developed to show provincial and municipal governments how active travel programs can be more resource-friendly than vehicle-based initiatives.
Streets Education (www.streetseducation.org) is a New York-based organization that “seeks to inspire students to make the changes they want to see on their streets and in their neighborhoods”. Their main areas of focus include traffic calming, environmental improvements, alternative transportation and safe routes to school.
Sustrans (www.sustrans.org.uk) is a UK-based charity that advocates for and educates about active travel options. Their site has many incredible resources, including information on liveable neighbourhoods, TravelSmart initiatives, and Safe Routes to School programs.
UK’s Walk to School website (www.walktoschool.org.uk) will give you an international perspective on how Walk to School programs are run elsewhere. The site provides many great resources and tools that can complement the School Travel Planning program.
The Vermont Bicycle and Pedestrian Coalition (www.vtbikeped.org) “promotes bicycling and walking safety, education and access to make Vermont bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly for residents and visitors alike.” The organizations core areas of focus include “Share the Road” education and outreach, bicycle safety instruction, and walking and wheeling advocacy.
Walk21 (www.walk21.com) is an organization that was developed to champion the development of healthy sustainable and efficient communities where people choose to walk. Their annual conference and International Walking Charter help move their vision forward. You can also check out the details of 2007’s Walk21 conference in Toronto at www.toronto.ca/walk21.
WalkBoston (www.walkboston.org) focuses on walking promotion and advocacy. The organization also provides educational resources and expertise on pedestrian-friendly community and infrastructure development and is a member of the National Steering Committee of the US Safe Routes to School National Partnership.
General Safety, Health and Wellness Programs and Resources
The BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation (www.tsfbcaa.com) offers tips, tricks and resources on School Safety and Child Passenger Safety on their website, including links to resources that teachers can use in their classrooms.
Transport Canada’s Be Bright – Think Right program (www.tc.gc.ca/eng/roadsafety/safedrivers-childsafety-schoolbus-bbtr-index-145.htm) provides helpful tips and guidance to help children avoid danger and prevent violence, with a focus on bullying, internet safety, diversity and respect, and school bus safety.
The Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute’s Making the Case for Active Transportation Bulletins (www.cflri.ca) provide well-researched background information that could help you make the case for active travel.
The Canadian Lung Association (www.lung.ca) provides resources about air quality and its impact on health. Their website includes resources especially for kids and teachers.
Child Safety Link (http://www.childsafetylink.ca/) is a Maritime-wide child and youth injury prevention program, located at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, NS, with a mission to reduce the incidence and severity of injury to children and youth.
Elmer the Safety Elephant has a kid-friendly website (www.elmer.ca) with games and an interactive “Safety Village” to help children learn about traffic, cycling, pedestrian, school bus, and other safety elements. The program is overseen by the Canada Safety Council.
Many provinces and territories have Healthy Schools programs focused on the health and well-being of students. For example, see BC’s DASH program at www.dashbc.org, and check out Nova Scotia’s Our Healthy Schools initiative at http://ourhealthyschool.hrsb.ns.ca/index.html.
The Insurance Corporation of BC’s Learn to Drive Smart Guide (www.icbc.com/driver-licensing/getting-licensed/pass-veh/roadsense-drivers) is an extensive, 150+ page resource that covers many aspects of safe driving, including “the rules of the road” and “sharing the road”.
PEDSAFE: Pedestrian Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System (www.walkinginfo.org/pedsafe) is a US resource developed by the Federal Highway Administration that describes many aspects of pedestrian crashes and how to prevent them, with the goal of improving the safety and mobility of pedestrians.
Safe Kids Canada (www.safekidscanada.ca) is an organization that focuses on safety and injury prevention for children and youth. Each year, they feature a different theme for their “Safe Kids Week”. Their website includes resources for both parents and professionals.
Infrastructure and Policy Development Programs and Resources
Transport Canada’s Urban Transportation Showcase Program (http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/programs/environment-utsp-final_results-877.htm) was a multi-year initiative that funded communities across Canada to engage in programs that demonstrated and evaluated integrated approaches to reducing GHG emissions in the urban transportation sector. The participating communities’ final reports can be found here, and each contains ideas and innovations that could inspire your Action Plan.
The Transportation Association of Canada’s vision is for Canada to be “a world leader in transportation knowledge, for the benefit of our people, our economy and our environment.” TAC itself would like to be recognized as a leader in creating the technical expertise and exchange of information required to build and maintain this position. Find out more about this organization at www.tac-atc.ca.
The Victoria Transport Policy Institute (www.vtpi.org) is an independent research organization dedicated to developing innovative and practical solutions to transportation problems. They provide a variety of resources available free on their website to help improve transportation planning and policy analysis.
Community-Based Social Marketing Programs and Resources
Transport Canada’s Changing Transportation Behaviour: A Social Marketing Planning Guide (http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/programs/environment-urban-menu-eng-2054.htm) is a detailed document about using Community-Based Social Marketing to influence people’s transportation choices.
Other Conservation-Related Programs and Resources
Destination Conservation Planet’s mandate is to “build a better planet, one classroom at a time”. Check out their website at www.dcplanet.ca, where you can find educational tools to promote environmental, social and economic responsibility.
Environment Canada offers free educational resources for ages 5 – 18+on their website at www.ec.gc.ca/education/default.asp?lang=En&n=D3D10112-1. The resources cover everything from science and technology issues to how to reduce your ecological footprint.
Green Teacher (www.greenteacher.com) is a magazine that helps youth educators enhance environmental and global education inside and outside of schools. It offers subscribers fifty pages of ideas and activities, four times a year.
Natural Resources Canada's Idle Free Zone (www.oee.nrcan.gc.ca/idling/idling.cfm?CFID=62242554&CFTOKEN=93065304) was Canada’s first website dedicated to helping communities and environmental groups reduce vehicle idling in an effort to conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The site provides resources for communities and governments, schools, individuals and businesses.
The New Brunswick Climate Change Public Education and Outreach Hub (www.nbhub.org) provides a wealth of information about climate change science, greenhouse gas emissions, and climate change issues in the region.
The Pembina Institute's Green Learning Resource (www.greenlearning.ca) was developed to help students participate in their own learning while gaining a more holistic and hopeful understanding of today's complex energy and environmental issues. The organization recently added EnerAction Lessons in Sustainable Transportation to their repertoire.