Following the Law

Explanation:   Encouraging students, parents, and staff to follow pertinent laws while walking and bicycling is good practice. All modes of travel have risk. Studies show that the health benefits of active transportation far outweigh the risks.[40] Nonetheless, children will be safer if they have mastered traffic safety rules, whether they’re on a school field trip, with a family member, or on their own. Their understanding of traffic rules and corresponding behavior is critical for their safety in navigating public spaces such as street crossings and sidewalks, especially on the way to and from school.  To ensure predictability and safety, all road users, including bicyclists and pedestrians, should follow local, regional, and state laws.

Option 1: District strongly encourages school personnel, students, and families to follow all state and local traffic laws and related safety guidelines while traveling to and from school.


Do not include this element in my policy.

Legal Note: A note of caution. School districts that “require” everyone to follow all traffic and safety laws may unintentionally subject themselves to potential liability. If a district requires everyone to follow certain rules, and the district fails to take some action to ensure that everyone is following such rules, or fails to respond when someone does not follow a rule, the district could be held liable in case of an injury. Accordingly, the district should encourage everyone to follow traffic safety laws, but should not require them to do so.

Getting Started

Each page of the Policy Builder consists of an explanation of one policy element, followed by one or more potential choices for wording of that element.  Read the explanation, then read each of the element choices.  

  • If you don't want to include this element in your policy at all, click on "Do not include this element in my policy." 
  • If you do want to include this element, click the wording you'd like to use for that element.  In general, the first option on the page is the least stringent, and each subsequent options becomes more stringent.  After each is a "Score," represented by 1 to 3 stars.  The more stars, the more stringent the wording, and the stronger that element will be in your policy.

At the bottom of the page you'll see "Previous" and "Next" buttons which you can use to navigate through the twenty-six different elements in the policy.

In the left sidebar you'll see a list of policy elements, organized into Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced.  In addition to using Previous and Next, you may jump directly to any section. 

When you've addressed all the elements, click the "Finish" link, or simply click the "Next" button on the last element in the list.  You'll receive a score based on the policy choices you made, as well as some suggestions as to how to improve that score and make your policy stronger.  You can follow those links, or use the links in the left sidebar to change any of your choices.

When you're satisfied with all your choices, return to the "Finish" page and click the "Download My Policy" button to save a copy of your policy to your computer.  You can open and further edit this file in Microsoft Word or any other word processor. 

If you have any questions, please contact us at or use the "Help with Policy Builder" link in the left sidebar.

That's it!  Click "Get Started" below to begin your Safe Routes to School policy!

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Each policy is eligible for a given number of stars, depending upon how much the policy contributes to creating a safe and encouraging atmosphere for children to walk and bicycle to school. Some policies are only eligible for one star, others for two stars, and others for three stars. For some policies, selecting a stronger option may provide additional stars.

Users of this document should be aware that every funding source has different requirements governing the appropriate use of their funds. Under U.S. law, no federal funds are permitted to be used for lobbying or to influence, directly or indirectly, specific pieces of pending or proposed legislation at the federal, state, or local levels. Organizations should consult appropriate legal counsel to ensure compliance with all rules, regulations, and restrictions of any funding sources.