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5 safety tips for going back to school

5x veilig terug naar school

How do you make sure your child is able to make it to school safely? These useful tips can help you out.

The summer holidays have finished, which means it’s a good deal busier on the road again. Children going to school by bike, mums and dads dropping their children off by car: driving during morning rush hour often requires extra focus. These Belgian Institute for Traffic Safety basic rules will definitely come in handy, not just in the neighbourhood around the school, but also on the way there.

1.    Observe the Zone 30 speed

Driving ‘just a little bit’ faster makes a huge difference. The risk of lethal accident for a pedestrian run over at a speed of 30 km/h is very low (between 1 and 3%). Already at 50 km/h that risk is a lot higher (10%). On a dry road, driving at a speed of 30 km/h, a car requires around 12 metres to come to a full stop. At 50 km/h the stopping distance amounts to 26 metres: it’s a difference that can have serious impact.

2.    Don’t forget to fasten your safety belt

Maybe the trip to school is not all that far and you probably already know it by heart, but that is no reason for your to forget to fasten your safety belt. It’s exactly during the home-school commute that children frequently do not have their safety belts fastened. However, you should know that a collision at a speed of 50 km/h has an impact equal to that of a fall from ten meters if your child isn’t securely buckled in.

3.    Set a good example

You can hardly expect your child to obediently buckle up and pay extra attention when crossing a street if your own attitude is blasé in traffic. It is primarily from the behaviour of their parents that children take their example. So, make sure you always buckle up!

4.    Cross at the proper place

A child crosses the street from between two parked cars: it’s an incredibly dangerous situation. It is critical that you teach your child how to safely cross the street. Not only does your child need to see oncoming traffic, but he or she must also be seen by other users on the road. First look left and then right, only to look left on more time before attempting to cross: that’s the safest way to do it.

5.    Park where it’s allowed

Parking on a zebra crossing is forbidden, but it’s also forbidden to park less than five meters away from a zebra crossing. The alternative is that pedestrian visibility is put in jeopardy, especially the visibility of smaller children. In case of an accident in this type of situation you could be held liable. If you park on the pavement - even if it’s just for five minutes - pedestrians are put in extra danger because they are forced to walk in the street. It doesn’t take much trouble to park according to the regulations and just walk a little bit further.

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