Education can be a powerful tool for changing behavior and improving safety skills. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, enforcement officers, public officials, and others can all benefit from educational tools and messages that teach them the rules, rights, and responsibilities of various travel modes.

There are major differences in the walking abilities, behavioral patterns, and learning capacities of different groups of pedestrians and other road users. For example, children have different physical and psychological abilities than adults, young drivers exhibit different behaviors and driving skills than older drivers, and college students can be reached through unique educational outlets. Educational programs need to be tailored to specific audiences.

This toolbox provides information on the messages and educational programs available for a range of different audiences. It also offers tips and strategies for delivering educational messages to pedestrians and other road users. When designing or selecting an educational program, it is important to develop specific, measurable goals.

The education toolbox is comprised of six sections:

  1. Campaigns—Educational tools that also convey that walking in a particular community is convenient, pleasant, healthful, and safe.
  2. General Strategies—Techniques include one-time instruction, skills practice, and other programs.
  3. Training Topics: Roadway/Walkway Users—Messages focus on improving personal safety and law abidance.
  4. Training Topics: Officials and Decision Makers—Messages focus on encouraging stronger support for policies, programs, and facilities that promote safe walking.
  5. Training Topics: Property Owners and Developers—Messages focus on rights and responsibilities, particularly surrounding the right-of-way, and education about permitting and inspection processes for new developments.
  6. Additional Courses, Materials, and Programs—General educational approaches that could be used with a variety of audiences.