CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) - As thousands of students head back to class, the Chula Vista Elementary School District is expanding its "Safe Routes to School" program.
The program is now in 27 of the 46 schools in the district.
"It takes the whole community to come together and make this effort work," said district spokeswoman Melissa Minas.
The program teaches kids road safety for biking and walking to class, but it also teaches parents the rules of the road if they're driving kids to school, including how to share the road and how to watch out for pedestrians.
"It's great," said Skii Fleeton, whose son Gunner is in 2nd grade at Marshall Elementary. "I see a lot of drivers texting or drinking coffee as they drive their kids to school. They're not paying attention."
The program partners with Circulate San Diego and the Chula Vista Police Department for education and enforcement. They want to make "Complete Streets" that are safe for every user.
"If you're a parent and you're tired of what you see at the school when you drive or drop your children off," said Minas, "take the first step and tell the school you want to help. Be part of the solution, not the problem."
For Fleeton, it's a lesson she'd like to see more people learn.
"Ultimately, the people driving the 3-ton steel boxes are the ones that need to really pay attention," she said. "Those are our kids on the street, our kids going to school. They're the most vulnerable and we need to protect them."
Bike to school safety tips from the Chula Vista Elementary School District:
Organize a Ride-Pool: Get together with neighbors and go to school as a group. Parents can take turns watching over the kids and chaperoning them to and from.
Make a Map: The fastest way to school isn't always the safest. Look for the best route and draw out a map for kids to follow.
Put a Ring on It: Add a bell to a bike handlebar. It can be a good way to warn pedestrians and other bicyclists of your presence.
For a list of California Laws regarding bikes, click here.