Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Walk and Bike Safety Education for K-8 Students

In 2023, the State of Minnesota mandated that all students in public schools must receive age-appropriate education related to safe walking and bicycling during the first few weeks of school. This legislation is similar to the law that requires students to receive bus safety education at the beginning of each school year. MnDOT is here to help you roll out this education in your school or district.

There’s a lot of information in the legislation that required this training, but the most important highlights are:

  • Students in grades K-3 must receive pedestrian safety education including crossing roads.
  • Students in grades 4-8 must receive pedestrian safety education including crossing roads using the searching left-right-left for vehicles in traffic technique; as well as bicycle safety, including relevant traffic laws, use and proper fit of protective headgear, bicycle parts and safety features, and safe biking techniques.
  • In most cases, students must receive this education by the end of the third week of school.
  • Non-public schools may provide this education but are not required to do so.

Review the Active Transportation Education requirement legislation

Learning to walk and bike safely is a skill that serves someone for their whole life.

Choosing to walk or bike isn’t just a way for young people to practice responsibility and independence, though it is that. Navigating your neighborhood on foot or with pedal power can help your body feel healthier, your mind feel calm, and your breath feel cleaner. Families who walk or bike will save money on transportation costs, schools that celebrate bicyclists and pedestrians will see congestion fade away, and communities that embrace active transportation will hum with vibrancy.

However, without proper training roadways can be dangerous places, especially for children. The practical skills presented in Walk and Bike Safety Education lessons will empower Minnesota’s students to make safe choices near our streets.

MnDOT has compiled resources for you to implement Active Transportation Education in your classroom.

Grades K-3 are now required to learn pedestrian safety skills, use these tools to meet requirements:

Grades 4-8 are required to learn more advanced pedestrian safety skills, use these tools to meet requirements:

Grades 4-8 are also required to learn basic bicycle safety skills including laws, proper helmet fit, bicycle parts and safe bicycling techniques. Use these tools to meet requirements:

Take Walk and Bicycle Safety Education to the Next Level!

If you are interested in more comprehensive pedestrian and bicycle safety education, consider reading up on Minnesota's Walk! Bike! Fun! Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Curriculum.

Is my school/district required to provide this training to students?
Yes. The State of Minnesota mandated Active Transportation Education in 2023.

How should I track students who have or have not completed the Active Transportation Education requirement?
School districts should develop tracking systems that work for them. There is not currently a statewide reporting process.

Does the State provide resources or funding to implement this training?
Training materials—including lesson plan ideas, education videos, and handouts—can be provided by the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Additional resources are currently in development and will be available for school year 2024-2025. Direct or formula funding is not currently provided by the State of Minnesota to implement Walk and Bike Safety Education.  

What’s the difference between Walk and Bike Safety Education and Walk! Bike! Fun!?
Walk and Bike Safety Education is a new requirement in Minnesota schools. It is meant to introduce the skills required for youth to navigate their communities on foot or on bike. There is flexibility in how the education can be presented to students and will likely take no more than 30 minutes of the school day. The requirement can be met by presenting information in a general classroom or even a school assembly format. 

Many schools across the state have incorporated Walk! Bike! Fun! into their physical education curricula or after-school programming. Walk! Bike! Fun! is a robust program for teaching pedestrian and bicycle safety skills to youth that meets Minnesota’s education standards. Schools that teach Walk! Bike! Fun! are already meeting the new Active Transportation Safety Education requirement with one important caveat: all students must receive Active Transportation Safety Education at the beginning of the school year. Teaching Walk! Bike! Fun! may be sufficient for your school if it can be taught to the student body at the beginning of the school year, but if not it should be supplemented with a shorter unit that can meet the state requirements.