258982 Surveillance of School Restrictive Policies of Active Transportation

Monday, October 29, 2012

Derek Slagle, MS , Florida Atlantic University School of Public Administration, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Kidz NeuroScience;, Miami/ Boca Raton, FL
Safe Routes to School noted that both schools and school districts play vital roles in supporting healthy practices by encouraging active transportation to school; and vice versa, school policies that discourage or prohibit active modes of transportation can be substantial barriers to health promotion. Through an annual transportation survey provided to administrators at public elementary, middle, and high schools in Miami-Dade County, Florida information on the existence of school active transportation policies on a countywide level was obtained.

Results from the survey differed from previous national data, where 22.8% responded there were some school position/ policy impacting active transportation with bicycles to-and-from school. Of those commenting, 79% required helmet use, emphasized safety, or provided safe storage, 19% stated parental consent was required, and12.6% said bicycling was discouraged/ prohibited.

Over 40% of administrators responded there was some form of school policy/ position on walking. Of those who had a policy, 94.5% included comments. For schools in MDC with a policy, 22.3% of the responses stated they emphasized safety or had safety regulations, 18.1% indicated there was an emphasis on walking in groups or with a parent, 9.9% said that walking either was prohibited or discouraged, and 61.1% stated they required parental consent.

The surveillance data provides critical information to successfully promote active transportation. Through identification of existing school restrictive policies action plans including education, enforcement, and/or infrastructural modifications can be designed to address concerns which resulted in the implementation of the restrictive policy.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Administration, management, leadership
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Identify and discuss the school policies impacting walking and biking to public elementary, middle, and high schools at Miami-Dade County, Florida.

Keywords: Children, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: N/A

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a project coordinator for the Miller School of Medicine Kidz Neuroscience where I have been working with WalkSafe to address pediatric walk and bicycle injuries. Furthermore, I hold a masters degree and am a PhD student at Florida Atlantic University where my interests are in public policy and public health initiatives. I have spoken on WalkSafe at professional conferences and community settings.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 3297.2: Schools and Student Health