The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) board of education voted unanimously on Tuesday to support two initiatives designed to improve pedestrian and street safety, with the ultimate goal of eliminating all traffic deaths in Los Angeles by 2025.
The resolution formalizes the district’s support for Safe Routes to School-Los Angeles, and the city’s long-term Vision Zero Initiative.
In addition, the resolution directs information about traffic and pedestrian safety to be included in the district’s parent-student handbook. It also declares Oct. 5 as Walk to School Day, an annual event that promotes healthy activities like walking and biking, as well as traffic safety.
“It is important we work together to promote safe streets and walking in our communities,” said board president Steve Zimmer. “I am honored to support this resolution and I look forward to continuing our work with all partners to maintain safe crosswalks and neighborhoods.”
The program was launched in 2011 and focuses on the goal of Vision Zero to eliminate traffic fatalities through education, traffic safety enforcement and infrastructure improvements. Nationwide, traffic fatalities are the No. 1 cause of death for children, teens and young adults.
“Almost half of fatal and severe-injury crashes occur within a quarter-mile of a school, and our school-age population is the most vulnerable,” Dr. McKenna said. “Improving safety requires the dedication and commitment of all of us.”
The resolution was co-sponsored by board president Steve Zimmer, vice president Dr. George J. McKenna III and board member Dr. Ref Rodriguez. Rodriguez said he hoped to replicate the program in other cities within the boundaries of LAUSD.
“I am hopeful that this district’s support of Los Angeles’ Vision Zero and Safe Routes to School programs will create a culture of informed citizens, safety-first mindsets and proactive partnerships between transportation departments and their community members,” Rodriguez said. “I co-sponsored this resolution with the optimism that we will facilitate impactful benefits for all other cities within L.A. Unified’s jurisdiction.”
Board member Monica Ratliff said the safety of students and families, on and off campus, is a top priority for LAUSD.
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