New app gives parents peace of mind as kids head back to school

HOLLADAY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - These days there is an app for just about everything. Now there is a new safety app for children walking to school. The app is called the "Walking School Bus" and was put to use Tuesday morning by a group of parents and their children in Holladay.

 “It has a feature that does give me piece of mind which is when the kids get to school you can alert the other parents and let them know that they are safe,” said Darci Hall who is using the app this school year for her kids.

Created over the last two years by the Utah Department of Transportation's Student Neighborhood Access program which encourages walking and biking safely to school the app is ready for use and parents like Hall are all for it.

“The Walking School Bus is kind of like a carpool but without a car. It is basically just a group of kids accompanied by an adult walking to and from school,” said Cherissa Wood with UDOT.

Available now for both Apple and Android, it's also been put to the test by some of the best critics, parents!

“My favorite feature is just being able to communicate with other parents. My kids favorite feature is knowing how far they've walked and what they've done. They think that's fascinating,” said Hall.

"The best advantage about the app is your always nervous about when their walking. So you can send them out the door and there is safety in numbers. In our neighborhood there aren't a lot of sidewalks so you just feel better about them,” said James Sweeten who is using the app for his two kids this school year.

Now with summer winding down and the first day of school just around the corner the new app is coming in handy for those who want to ditch carpool while also staying healthy and safe.

“I love that these kids are getting exercise, they get their wiggles out before getting to school. I just think it's a great thing," said Hall.

As for safety, it's completely policed by parents and anyone wanting to sign up has to be approved.


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