The children's department of Rome city council and the city police have joined forces to encourage children to walk to school. More than 700 children from 22 city junior schools are taking part in the first stage of this free initiative. The children who have opted to walk wait in the morning at a "stop" along a pre-determined route, and are "picked up" by their minder as the group passes. There is one adult to look after 12 children and each child wears a fluorescent waistcoat and an identity tag. The city police have chosen the routes that the children take, following quiet side streets as much as possible, and they patrol any busy crossings when the children are passing. The reaction from parents and children is favourable the parents are spared the morning school run and the kids enjoy playing and chatting with one another on their way to school. They are also getting fresh air and exercise.