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Safe Routes to School programs are most successful when they include a combination of program elements that consider the "5 E's of Safe Routes to School": Encouragement, Education, Enforcement, Engineering and Evaluation.

A variety of improvements can be implemented to create safer walking and cycling environments including improving roads and sidewalks, enforcing speed limits, educating students and improving personal safety.


An engineering approach creates operational and physical improvements to the infrastructure surrounding the school that reduce speeds and conflicts with motor vehicles and establishes safer crosswalks and pathways.


The enforcement approach partners with local law enforcement to ensure that traffic laws (speeding, idling, cell phone, yield-to-pedestrian) are obeyed in the vicinity of schools and initiating community enforcement, such as crossing guard programs.


Education teaches children and parents about the broad range of transportation choices, instructing them in important lifelong bicycling and walking safety skills and launching driver safety campaigns in the vicinity of schools.


An encouragement strategy promotes walking and bicycling to school on a regular basis through events and activities.

Adults walk wih children in Maplewood
Adults walk with children in Maplewood.
(Images provided by Sharon Roerty)
A temporary curbed island near a school in Westfield A temporary curbed island near a school in Westfield, designed to ensure that traffic on the side street does not form two lanes and block the views of pedestrians and school children.
(Image provided by Gordon Meth)

A speed monitor sign in Delanco A speed monitor sign in Delanco.
(Image provided by Elise Bremer-Nei)

School bike safety program in Wharton School bike safety program in Wharton.
(Image provided by Patrick Franco)

Adults walk wih children in Maplewood


Monitoring the different strategies and documenting their outcomes and trends by collecting data before and after their intervention is a critical part of determining the effectiveness of each strategy.

More detailed information on the "5 E's" is available from the National Center for SRTS On-Line Guide.

Integrated strategies

Although each strategy can stand alone, the most successful programs integrate elements from all of them. One way to incorporate the "5 E's" is to develop a Safe Routes to School Travel Plan for your school. A Safe Routes to School Action Plan will address specific conditions within a municipality, district or school relevant to journeys to and from school. Action plans not only address physical infrastructure needs such as sidewalks and roadway crossings, but also concerns about personal safety and health.
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  Department of Transportation
  P.O. Box 600
  Trenton, NJ 08625-0600
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  Last Updated:  October 26, 2011