As an Idaho parent, I want my children to live healthy, active lives. When I was young, I walked and rode my bike to school regularly; we all did. But despite close proximity, I drive my children to school. They are smart, independent kids who would love to walk or ride on their own, but when I look at the vehicle congestion on our route, my gut tells me my kids would not be safe.
Over 800 Idaho children walking or biking were involved in crashes from 2011-2015. Ten were killed. Just a few weeks ago, two teenage girls walking to school in Meridian suffered broken bones after being hit by a car. Today, fewer than one in seven of our children walk or bike to school, but a frightening proportion of kids on the street could be harmed.
I should not worry about my kids being active. Several Idaho cities — Sandpoint, Moscow, Idaho Falls, Boise — have successful Safe Routes to School Programs. They prove that our state can be a great place for our children to walk or bike safely. It’s time to commit to these efforts, so that families across Idaho can confidently make healthier choices.
Jennifer Salmonsen, Star