Parents and carers are being encouraged to help children stay safe on the school run as the new term begins.
In 2016, 69 children were killed and 15,907 injured on UK roads, with 36 per cent of casualties occurring during the pre- and post-school hours of 7-9am and 3-5pm.
Whether you drive or walk to school, Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service and Northamptonshire Police are sharing advice to help families teach children about staying safe.
Talk road safety with children
Matt O’Connell, of the joint Safer Roads Alliance, says: “When your child first starts to walk with you, talk to them about how they must always hold your hand, especially when crossing roads, and teach them to stop at once if you tell them to.
“Talk about how paths and pavements are for people, and roads are for traffic. Practise the ‘stop, look, listen, think’ sequence whenever you cross a road so they learn about stopping before the kerb, looking right, left and right again for traffic, listening for vehicles, and thinking about whether there’s enough time to cross safely.”
Road safety charity Brake advises that children under eight should always be accompanied by and hold hands with an adult around roads, particularly when crossing.
When letting your child walk independently, remind them how to cross safely using
the Green Cross Code and help them plan the safest route to where they are being allowed to go.
Staying safe in the car
Having discussions with children around staying safe in the car is also important.
Matt says: “Whenever you drive them somewhere set a good example by putting your phone away, obeying speed limits and road signs, and always making sure everyone wears their seatbelt properly.
“It’s also important you also park safely and legally around schools to help keep everyone safe – better still, park a few streets away to reduce congestion and walk to school, practising road safety as you go.”
The Green Cross Code
- Find a safe place to cross.
- Stop just before you get to the kerb.
- Look all around for traffic and listen for it too.
- If traffic is coming, let it pass.
- Look and listen again. When it is safe, walk straight across the road - do not run.
- Keep looking and listening while you are crossing the road.