SD46 receives $20K grant to improve road safety in the community
SD46 is receiving funding from Vision Zero to improve road safety for staff, students, and their families on the Sunshine Coast.
In 2021/2022, Vancouver Coastal Health worked with the BC government and regional health authorities to launch the BC Vision Zero in Road Safety for Vulnerable Road Users grant program.
Vision Zero is an international best practice to eliminate deaths and serious injuries from road transport. It is built on safe system theory, which involves road design, community planning, regulation of motor vehicles, speeds, education and awareness.
Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) and others are working to achieve Vision Zero by providing funding to local governments, Indigenous community governments and NGOs, to support evidence-informed road safety solutions in their communities.
SD46 in partnership with Transportation Choices Sunshine Coast will use the funding to expand on its ‘Best Routes to School’ active transportation maps, to identify the safest routes for cycling and walking to school/work to encourage children and adults to remain active on the Sunshine Coast. The project intentions will also include: active travel months, bike safety training, bike trains/walking school bus pilots and student and school community engagement.
Active travel and well-being have been shown to be positively correlated. The Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI) data also indicates only 3-4% of youth in our district actually bike to school, and yet 25% indicate they would like to bike to school. This gap prompted the district to focus on active travel initiatives with the aim of closing this gap with help from the grant.
Another goal of the project is to see active transportation as an opportunity for climate action. A recently released UN Climate Change report emphasizes an immediate need for actions to support a livable planet. Transportation represents 5 tonnes CO2e/ capita/ year for Canadians – one of the highest per capita globally. Supporting students, staff and the school communities to engage in active travel addresses student needs, supports learning and provides an attainable and uplifting activity which gives everyone agency to be part of the solution to addressing climate change.