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Most children feel unsafe when crossing the road unsupervised, RoSPA report finds


New research, undertaken on behalf of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has found that almost 90 per cent of children do not feel safe when crossing the road without an adult.
Brainbox Research, on behalf of RoSPA surveyed 319 children, aged between 7-9, to assess their knowledge about and feelings towards road safety. As part of the survey, the children were asked to choose a word that described how they feel when they are crossing the road without an adult. The most popular choice was ‘unsafe’ and only 13 per cent said that they felt ‘safe’.
The study also demonstrated that safety training helped make children feel more confident as pedestrians. After the training, there was an increase in the number of children describing positive feelings about crossing the road, such as ‘careful’  and ‘safe’ and a decrease in negative feelings such as ‘worried’ and ‘scared’.
A number of teachers were interviewed as part of RoSPA’s research into child pedestrian safety training provision in England. One teacher told researchers “I think road safety training is one of the most beneficial things for children to do.” Another teacher reported that pupils at her primary school were not always supervised on the school run: “Children tell us that when they walk home, Mum’s always on the phone and sometimes they get left when crossing the road because they weren’t ready when Mum went.”
Commenting on RoSPA’s  research into child pedestrian safety training Rebecca Needham, RoSPA’s Road Safety Officer for England said: “According to figures from the Department for Transport (DfT), 22 child pedestrians were killed and 953 were seriously injured on our roads in 2020.  Our research shows that safety training increases children’s road safety knowledge”
A poll conducted by YouGov* on behalf of RoSPA in 2019, revealed that almost half (49 per cent) of children aged 6-11 have not received any form of pedestrian safety training in the past 12 months.  The survey also revealed that nearly two-thirds (61 per cent) of parents would like to see more practical pedestrian training being offered to their children.
Rebecca continued “At present, there is no national scheme for pedestrian safety training for children in England.
We want to see a standardised pedestrian training package delivered to help keep our all our children safe.”
You can access RoSPA’s research into child pedestrian safety training here.
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 411 parents of 6-11-year-olds in England. Fieldwork was undertaken between January 30 and February 1, 2019. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (18+).

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