19 Oct, 2011 Last updated: 29 Jan, 2015

Motorists have been urged to take extra care on the roads, as more than 70,000 primary school children from 370 schools across Victoria will be out and about.

On 19 October 2011, tens of thousands of school children who do not usually walk to school will pound the pavement for Victoria Walks to School Day.

Motorists have been urged to take extra care on the roads, as more than 70,000 primary school children from 370 schools across Victoria will be out and about.

“About twice as many children will walk to school today as yesterday. So we ask drivers to be extra vigilant today, to take care and slow down,” Dr Ben Rossiter, Victoria Walks Executive Officer, said.

“If kids walked to school more often, there would be fewer cars on the road. In Melbourne alone, 17 per cent of the morning peak traffic is cars doing the daily school run. It is the same in every town and city around Victoria.”

Victoria Walks to School Day, funded by VicHealth as part of the month of Walktober, aims to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits children get from making walking a regular part of their routine.

“Walking offers children a range of social and mental health benefits. It reduces stress and anxiety, and improves self-confidence, self-esteem, energy levels and the ability to concentrate,” Dr Rossiter said.

“Imagine if these children walked to school every day. They would be happier, healthier, more alert and ready to learn.”

Victoria Walks is calling on all Victorians to support parents to feel more confident to let their kids walk to school every day.

Media enquiries: Dr Ben Rossiter, Executive Officer of Victoria Walks on 0425 805 578

www.victoriawalks.org.au/walktoschool

Victoria Walks is a walking promotion body funded and supported by VicHealth and governed by an independent Board. Victoria Walks envisages vibrant, supportive and strong neighbourhoods and communities where people can and do choose to walk wherever possible. Its mission is more Victorians walking every day. www.victoriawalks.org.au