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Road Safety

Road Safety

24 April 2018

Road Safety

Family Safety Week

Road traffic accidents account for a third of accidental deaths among 0-14-year olds. Recent news stories have demonstrated that accidents amongst young people have risen significantly in recent months. It’s never too early to start teaching your child about the importance of road safety and teaching them what they can to do stay safe near roads.

There are different stages of learning for different ages and it’s important to teach your child the rules that are most appropriate to their age range to avoid giving them too much information that they don’t understand or too little information that they don’t appreciate the dangers.

‘Hold My Hand’ (0-5 Pre-schoolers)

The most important thing for 0-4-year olds is making them aware of the road. Teach them that they must never cross a road without an adult and they must always be holding someone’s hand.

Set a good example. Don’t take risks when crossing the road, your child is likely to copy your behaviour, so if they see you run when a car comes they will too. Look for a safe place to cross, teach them about waiting for the green man on the traffic lights and what red, amber, and green mean for cars.

Get them talking about the road. As your child’s vocabulary develops, so will their knowledge of the road. Talk about cars, buses, tell them what different crossings are called and how you know when a car is getting closer. Teach them STOP. LOOK. LISTEN always remembering to tell them why you need to stop, look and listen. Teaching road safety isn’t about scaring children to be afraid of the road but educating them to be safe and aware of dangers.

Teach them it’s important to be bright and be seen by traffic so that drivers know to stop when they see you. Your child’s school should be teaching them about this too so, continue the learning process at home

‘Green Cross Code’ (5-8-Year Olds)

At age 5-8 children should start to learn the green cross code. It consists of 5 simple rules to follow, these should be easier for your child to remember if you practice them every time you cross a road.

1. Cross in the safest place
Always try to cross at specific points of crossing like traffic lights, zebra crossing etc. If this isn’t an option, make sure you’re in a place where you can see and be seen in all directions. Always avoid crossing on sharp bends, at the top of a hill or between parked cars.

2. Stop just before the edge of the pavement
Allow yourself time to look around, listen and check both ways. Don’t get too close to the edge and if you’re not on a pavement stand well back but not too far back that you can’t see.

3. Look and Listen
It’s important to look in all directions, before stepping into the road look left, look right and look left again. Don’t forget to listen for any oncoming traffic that you might not yet be able to see.

4. If traffic is coming, let it pass. Wait for the safest opportunity
Don’t cross until your certain it is safe to do so. Remind your child even if traffic is approaching but looks far away it could be coming fast and this means you don’t have enough time to cross.

5. Cross don’t run
Cross when it is safe to do so, never run and always keep listening for traffic as you cross. Do not cross diagonally and be aware or cyclists that might be travelling between traffic.

Ages 9-15
Children approaching secondary school are at a crucial age for learning road safety as they will be crossing the road independently on their way to school. With modern technology all around us, it is crucial you teach your child to not look at their phone and to take out any headphones on the approach to a crossing.

Shockingly 65% of teenagers admitted to preventing their friend from having a road traffic accident because they pulled them back or called out to them. Teenagers get easily distracted and when out with their friend’s road safety isn’t their priority, which makes it even more important to educate them on the importance of staying safe and the dangers of what can happen if they don’t stay vigilant.

Remind them that playing near the road is dangerous, that wearing bright colours at night is for safety and a must. The following videos are targeted to an older audience of 11+ to teach them the importance of road safety as they get to an age where they pay less attention, are in more of a rush to be cautious and don’t think staying vigilant in bright colours is ‘cool’.

Sometimes children learn better by watching a video compared to us telling them rules. Below are some safety videos on crossing the road with catchy songs that you can show to children to help them remember the green cross code. – Suitable for all ages – Suitable for all ages – Suitable for all ages – Suitable for all ages

Road Safety Games:
We live in a digital age where games can be a used to our advantage to teach children road safety.



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