NEWARK, NJ - University Hospital officials hosted International Walk to School Day events in Newark on Wednesday to promote pedestrian safety for students looking for safe routes between schools and their neighborhoods.

The hospital worked with more than 400 students from kindergarten to fourth grade to bring awareness to pedestrian issues and working to identify ways to go between destinations. 

“University Hospital has a responsibility to the Newark community, in not only addressing medical needs within our walls, but to reinforce health and wellness practices where Newark residents work, study, and live every day,” University Hospital President Dr. Shereef Elnahal said in a statement.

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One of the sites chosen on Wednesday was the Marion P. Thomas Charter School’s PAC Academy due to its location downtown.

“We are often concerned about heavy traffic, distracted drivers and preoccupied pedestrians,” Charter Schools Superintendent Robert Gregory said.

Dr. David H. Livingston, chief of the Trauma Division at New Jersey Medical School also participated in the events. He highlighted that children were particularly vulnerable to navigating traffic and distracted drivers.

“In the worst-case scenario of a pedestrian injury, children can be left with lifelong physical impairments as well as emotional trauma from post-traumatic stress,” Livingston said.