Since my son, George, started school two of his fellow pupils have been seriously injured in accidents while crossing the road. Now that he is in his last year of primary he is desperate to start walking on his own. And the idea terrifies me. There’s so much more traffic than when I was a child, especially during the school run which at times can feel like chaos.
It’s not unusual to witness drivers parking on the yellow zigzag lines outside schools, even though they are meant to protect our children from traffic. I’ve also seen people drop pupils off in the middle of a busy road instead of finding somewhere to park. At times it can be difficult for adults to cross, let alone children.
Kids face so many distractions too. The other day I was forced to slow down as a young boy crossed the road while looking at his mobile phone, seemingly oblivious to the fact I was driving past with a look of horror. Yet despite all this there doesn’t seem to be the powerful high-profile road safety campaigns that were around when I was a child.
The famous TV adverts featuring the Green Cross Code Man had such an impact on me I can still remember his warning to ‘Stop, Look and Listen’.
My friends and I all followed his advice when we crossed the roads, especially once we found out the actor who played him, David Prowse, was also Darth Vader in Star Wars. No-one wanted to cross him! As children get older and start to become more independent they don’t always want to listen to their parents’ advice. And not every mum and dad may feel confident about teaching their kids every aspect of road safety.
I know some schools run schemes to help pupils but with resources under pressure how much can they be expected to do? That’s why I think the work of RoSPA and its plan to provide parents, teachers and carers with resources on child pedestrian safety during its Family Safety Week is vital if we want to help our younger generation stay safe.
For more information on road safety, including the Green Cross Code, visit www.rospa.com/familysafetyweek
Posted: 3/25/2019 11:14:42 AM