Every day, six children are killed or seriously injured on roads across the United Kingdom.
November 14-22 is Road Safety Week and this year's theme is “safe roads for all”, highlighting the right we all have to travel safely wherever we're going.
Teaching children to be safe when walking near roads is essential, and it is never too early to start forming these safe walking and traffic awareness habits.
Each day of Road Safety Week has a specific area of focus, all of which are designed to get the conversation started about safety for all road users, especially children
This post will take you through four of these focus areas, Move, Teach, Watch and Think, and how we all play a role in keeping kids safe on and near roads.
We all know that traffic is getting worse year on year, with congested roads causing headaches for motorists and making journeys more dangerous for pedestrians.
The focus area Move encourages children to bike, walk or scoot to school to not only keep fit but also reduce the number of cars on the road.
The school drop off and pick up can be hectic at best, with carparks and roads around the school clogged with cars. Reducing the number of cars around schools would make the surrounding roads and paths safer for kids in many ways, from reducing the risk of injury to improving air quality.
Plus, walking, riding or scooting to school is a great way for kids to burn some of that excess morning energy, helping them focus better in class. Win-win!
We all have a part to play in teaching kids about road safety.
Parents, teachers, carers and community leaders can all offer vital support and education not only to children but to the wider community in general, helping to make the roads safer for everyone.
Making sure kids understand simple road safety rules such as looking both ways before crossing the roads, being aware of their surroundings and wearing reflective clothing when travelling in lower light are all things we can teach that can make a child’s journey so much safer.
Walking with your child and pointing out potential dangers and showing them the safe way to cross the road is one of the best ways to teach them about road safety.
Remember to hold their hand and don’t let them walk alone if they’re not yet confident or are too young.
On the other hand, teaching drivers about road safety, especially around children, is vital for a safer community.
Simple things like the importance of obeying speed limits and keeping an eye out for kids who might dash across the road are things all drivers should keep in mind, especially when driving around schools and playgrounds.
Everyday people from all walks of life use our roads.
Cyclists, pedestrians, drivers, people in wheelchairs and those with impaired mobility all need to get around, and we need to think about ways we can keep each other safe.
Being considerate of others is something we all benefit from. It gives us greater understanding about the needs of others and helps us to consider better ways to keep more vulnerable members of our community safe on their travels.
Whether it’s being patient when someone take a little bit longer to cross the street, keeping an eye out for cyclists and being aware of children who might not always be visible are just some of the ways we can think about other road users and consider their safety.
We all have a part to play in making sure our roads are safe for everyone to use, whether they’re driving, walking or riding.
By reducing the number of cars on the road by encouraging kids to walk to school, teaching children basic road safety rules, making sure we slow down around school zones and thinking about the safety of others, we can create safer roads for everyone.