Newspaper Boys Need A Ready Brek Glow

Posted on November 26th, 2009 by GEM Motoring Assist

After its recent campaign to raise awareness of children walking in the dark after school, GEM Motoring Assist is calling for motorists to watch out for another group of vulnerable kids – newspaper boys and girls!

It is not just the darker evenings that affect children’s safety but also the cold and dark winter mornings.  Paper boys and girls often start delivery at 6.30am to make sure they are finished in time for school and it is at this time when visibility is poor for motorists and news deliverers can be hard to spot.  Concerned with the safety of all road users, GEM says that every child would benefit from a fluorescent glow to keep them safe in the winter.

David Williams, MBE, of GEM Motoring Assist comments, “It is a very dangerous time of day and at the very least they should be wearing reflective arm bands or shoulder belts. We know that young people today are very style conscious and may well resist the idea but it is a concept of personal safety we are beginning to win with cycle helmets.”

GEM’s aim is to make sure that all newsagents are adhering to the strict rules and guidelines set out in the NFRN’s* Delivering Safety leaflet that ensures the safety of youngsters delivering papers.  David Williams continues “I believe the most important rules are the most simple.  Wearing a fluorescent vest and carrying a reflective delivery bag are at the top of GEM’s list alongside using front and rear lights on a bike and wearing a cycle helmet.  It is when these fundamental rules are not monitored that tragic accidents are more likely to happen”.

Safety Guidelines for Newsdeliverers

  • Encourage newsdeliverers to take a cycle training course
  • Make it a condition of employment that if newsdeliverers are using bicycles the following requirements are met:
    • Always use front and rear lights when it is dark
    • Always wear high visibility conspicuous clothing
    • Always wear a cycle helmet
    • Keep their bicycle in good working order
  • Institute a simple periodical bicycle check list and test; tyre pressure, brakes
  • Ensure newsdeliverers never wear a Walkman or rollerblades whilst on rounds
  • Provide delivery bags and jackets/waistcoats with fluorescent and reflective strips
  • Provide personal attack alarm or whistle
  • Install a numbered bag system with list of parent contact numbers
  • Encourage newsdeliverers to return to shop to sign off or institute a safe
    return system
  • Reduce weight of bag to 10kg or less for juveniles
  • Advise newsdeliverers to avoid accidents
  • Draw up safe routes and arrange rounds to avoid – zigzagging across main roads, badly lit areas, busy roads and short cuts through woods and wasteland
  • Make you newsdeliverers aware of dangerous situations on their rounds – vicious dogs, letter boxes
  • Contact your local crime prevention and road safety officer for further advice
  • Any major injury incurred by the newsdeliverer must be immediately reported to the Environmental Health Officer at your local council

*The National Federation of Retail Newsagents