Breakdown and road safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist is encouraging parents and children to make safety their number one priority on journeys to and from school.
The new school year begins very shortly, and GEM says it’s important that everyone – from toddler to senior citizen – is aware of the risks that go with using our roads. This is because 48 children died, and more than 2,000 were seriously injured, last year on the UK’s roads.
What’s more, research shows that on 20mph roads, which are often in place close to schools, 81 per cent of car drivers exceed the speed limit and 44 per cent exceed 25mph.
GEM road safety officer Neil Worth comments: “Every child needs to learn how to use the roads safely, whether walking or cycling, and later when driving.
“But road collisions remain a leading cause of accidental death for children, and we know they can cause life-changing injuries. That’s why it is so important for us all to take responsibility - not just for our own safety, but for the safety of any children who share the roads with us – and find ways to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries.
“So as another school year begins, we encourage all parents, guardians, teachers, carers and older siblings to play their part in helping children to use the roads with respect, to recognise the risks they face and to understand effective ways of minimising those risks.”
Reduce the risk
GEM has compiled a selection of tips for parents and their children as the new school year begins:
Try not to use the car for the school run. For some parents it’s essential, but for many others there are fun, healthy alternatives. So find out about any local safe walking initiatives that may operate at your child’s school. Team up with neighbours and walk together.
If you have to drive to school, 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.
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.
Do your bit to help the crossing patrol. Be patient and always be prepared to stop. Remember, it’s an offence not to stop at a patrol’s signal.
If you drive older children who don’t need escorting into the school premises, make sure they get out of the car in a safe location, and never let them step out into the road instead of the pavement.
It’s cool to be bright: kit your kids out with high visibility fluorescent or reflective jackets, vests or belts.
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*Article Source Motoring Assist