Two local agencies are on a quest to make walking to school safer by teaching kids to be savvy pedestrians.

“We’ve seen an increase of kiddos getting hurt by crossing the street, so we want to push this message to make sure kids know how to cross the street safely, that they know how to use a crosswalk,” said Mandy Fultz, the coordinator for the local chapter of Safe Kids, which is led by the University Health System.

Representatives of Safe Kids San Antonio and the city initiative Vision Zero, which works to increase vehicle and pedestrian safety on the roadways, visited 18 campuses across various school districts on Wednesday to teach students how to walk to school safely.

“We’ve seen several kids get hurt each year about this time,” Fultz said.

She said the organizations like to make a push for pedestrian safety in October because mornings get darker in the fall, especially with the time change.

On Wednesday, the students were taught to look left, right and then left again before crossing, to make eye contact with drivers and also to look both ways for what Safe Kids calls “the second edge” — or the second lane of traffic.

“What we’ve seen is where a car stops and says ‘yes, go ahead,’ that kid starts to walk, and then you have impatient drivers behind the car saying ‘why have we stopped?’ and they pull around the car and hit the kid,” she said.

The students who walk to school were also encouraged to wear reflective gear and light-colored clothing, and maybe even carry a flashlight, to make sure they’re visible in the dark.

Both Vision Zero and Safe Kids San Antonio plan to visit more campuses to spread the word about how to walk to school safe throughout the month. Schools can call the injury prevention line at University Hospital System at 210-358-4295.

sfosterfrau@express-news.net