Parent safety tips for first day on the school run
BREAKDOWN AND road safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist is urging parents to make safety their number one priority on journeys to and from school.
GEM road safety officer Neil Worth comments: “Around 750,000 children will be arriving at school for the first time this week. Their thoughts will focus on new teacher, new classroom and making new friends, so we want to help their parents ensure there are as few risks as possible on their journeys to and from school.”
Insurance industry figures from 2013* show that 37% of local school areas had at least one child road injury each year between 2006 and 2011, meaning there are still more than 1,000 child injuries on local roads around British schools.
“Clearly one child casualty is one too many,” continues Neil Worth. “Remaining calm, allowing plenty of time and avoiding any risky time-saving short cuts are the best strategies for new parents on the school run.”
GEM has compiled seven tips for parents and their children as the new school year begins:
- Find out about any local safe walking initiatives that may operate at your child’s school. Team up with neighbours and walk together. Brush up your knowledge of the Highway Code, and establish safe routes and safe places to cross any roads.
- Respect speed limits. Many areas around schools are subject to 20mph speed limits (either permanent or timed), and you will face a £100 fine and three points on your licence if you are caught speeding.
- Respect the crossing patrol. Be patient and always be prepared to stop. Remember, it’s an offence not to stop at a patrol’s signal.
- Think bright: kit your kids out with high visibility fluorescent or reflective jackets, vests or belts.
- If you need to drive, then always allow plenty of time to park safely and legally. Don’t pull up on zig-zag lines outside a school, and respect local residents by not blocking driveways and access points.
- If you have older children who don’t need escorting into school, always make sure they get out in a safe location, and never let them step out into the road instead of the pavement.
- Finally, please join GEM in signing the pledge for Project EDWARD, the first ‘European Day Without A Road Death’, taking place on Wednesday 21 September. Go to tispol.org/edward/pledge and join 80,000+ others who have signed.
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