Back to School

2 Sep 2018

September is here and the children are heading back to school. This will mean even busier traffic at peak times, and more cyclists and pedestrians too. It’s vital to ensure that children are aware of the dangers around the roads, especially amid the excitement of seeing friends again after the break, the buzz of new classes or a new school, and the shift from holiday mode to term time routine.

5 children under 16 are killed or seriously injured when walking or cycling to school every day in the UK. Make sure your children know how to cross the road safely, always paying full attention and not chatting with friends, playing with their phone or listening to music. If there’s no pavement, walk on the right hand side of the road, facing traffic. When crossing, teach children to look right-left-right – a second look for the side where traffic will be closest, and to always use a pedestrian crossing if at all possible.

If they cycle, be sure they are confident on their bike, that they have a helmet and fluorescent and reflective gear, their bike is well maintained, and they understand how to cycle on the road. Practice the route with them first if you’re intending to let them travel unaccompanied, so you can point out hazards.

Children are particularly vulnerable as they are often harder to spot and are more likely to make impulsive decisions. They will find it much harder to gauge the speed of traffic, and may assume cars are going much slower than they are.

A survey of 1000 drivers found that 63% admitted to driving at 35 mph or faster in a 30 limit. Please, reduce your speed in built up areas. Analysis of pedestrian casualties shows that of those who lost their lives, 85% died in impacts below 40 mph, 45% at less than 30, and just 5% at speeds below 20 mph. Killing your speed really can save lives. 

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