The Utah Department of Transportation has received a national safety award for its work on a program to help schools develop safe routes for children to walk to class.

The program is titled the Safe Neighborhood Access Program, or SNAP, and allows a school to design a computerized map outlining safe walking routes for children. Utah law requires elementary and middle schools to create or update a "safe route" map each year, according to UDOT.

Robert Hull, UDOT director of traffic and safety, said Wednesday that the award shows the SNAP program is making a difference in terms of safety for school children.

"A lot of states apply for these awards, and very few are given out," Hull said. "What that means is that on a national level, they've looked at this program as being unique, and the intent is that it will make a significant impact in improving safety on roadways for kids."

The award was given by the Roadway Safety Foundation and the Federal Highway Administration. At least 11 other states were also awarded for safety efforts during the 2007 National Roadway Safety Awards Recognition Ceremony.

For more information about the SNAP program, log on to: www.udot.utah.gov/snap.