Limiting Restrictions on Active Transportation

Explanation: While schools should, of course, prioritize the safety of their students, schools do not have the ultimate authority to determine how students will travel to and from school. In fact, school districts subject themselves to potential liability when they try to restrict how students travel to and from school. When decisions about which mode of transportation to use are taken away from students and their families, districts may themselves acquire increased responsibility for ensuring that children get to school safely, and thus may be more likely to be found liable if injuries occur during transit. In addition to increased risk of liability, districts may be overstepping the bounds of their authority over students when they try to control how students travel to and from school, because such restrictions may not be authorized by state law and may interfere with parents’ constitutional rights to make decisions about how to raise their children.

Option 1: District acknowledges that the choice of which mode of transportation to use when traveling to and from school rests with students and/or their families, rather than with District or individual schools.  Accordingly, District shall prohibit individual schools from restricting any mode of active transportation used to travel to and from school.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, where unusual traffic or other dangers make active transportation exceptionally unsafe, individual schools can discourage, but not prohibit, students from engaging in active transportation to and from school.


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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.