• Children under 5 years old need to learn what traffic is, that it can be dangerous, and simple ways of keeping safe, like holding hands
  • 1901 people were killed on GB roads in 2011
  • One of the best ways for children to be safer is for adults to set a good example when using the roads, on foot or in the car
  • The road environment is essential for children’s freedom, development and fitness but roads need to be treated with respect
  • 23,122 people were seriously injured on GB roads in 2011
  • 5 people every day are killed on GB roads
  • Primary school age is the best time for children to learn about using the roads safely, ready for more independent travel when they go up to secondary school
  • Most children under 9 years old are unable to judge how fast vehicles are going or how far away they are
  • LGVs were involved in 12,238 accidents in 2011, resulting in 191 deaths and 1,681 serious injuries
  • The risk of children being involved in a road accident rises when they start secondary school
  • The largest number of pedestrians who are hurt on the roads are between 11 and 15 years of age
  • HGVs were involved in 6,709 accidents in 2011, resulting in 259 deaths and 1,077 serious injuries
  • Secondary school children are likely to take greater risks without thinking about the potential consequences. Teenagers need to be taught how to assess these risks and make informed choices when using the road environment
  • Children are more likely to die in a road collision than from any other accidental cause – but let’s not focus on the negative – you can help!
  • Between ¼ and 1/3 of all road deaths and serious injuries involve people driving for work
  • In 2011 nearly 20% of all car occupants killed or seriously injured were 17-24 years old - when they start driving lessons a good road safety understanding will be invaluable
  • Every day of the year more than 150 vehicles driven on company business crash

srsCULTUREforParents

srsCULTUREforParents enables the parent to support their child through the srsCULTURE process.

The aim is to raise parents’ awareness of the need for road safety education, throughout a child’s life, to prepare their child for eventually becoming a responsible independent road-user and probably car driver/rider.

It is not just up to schools to ‘do road safety’ – parents have a very important role to play at all stages of their child’s development, from ‘the womb’ to at least 18 years of age.

Tips for parents to be

Unless you have a medical exemption, pregnancy is not an excuse not to wear your seat-belt. Position the lap-belt under your bump. It is important to keep yourself safe and protect your unborn child.

Purchase your infant carrier in advance of the birth and check that it fits your car properly and the angle isn’t too steep for a new born baby.

In-car child safety

Make sure you know how to put the baby in the harness and how to fit the seat in the car before the journey home from hospital – it will not help your new-born for you to be reading the instructions outside the maternity ward!

Remember, it is ILLEGAL and extremely dangerous for rearward-facing child restraints to be fitted on vehicle seats protected by an active airbag.

Tips for parents of pre-school children

Small children need to be protected when out and about near traffic. Teach them to always hold hands and that STOP means STOP immediately.

Always set a good example, whether walking or driving – do it properly – they are watching, learning and will almost certainly copy you! What you do now could be what they do several years later, when they become a ‘young driver’!

Talk to them about the road environment when you are out – they need to learn words like kerb and pavement – but remember to get down to their level – the world looks different when you are small.

When in the car, if possible sit them on the passenger side so they always get in and out of the car on the pavement side.

For parents of young child passengers

Tips for parents of primary school children

Continue to increase their vocabulary to do with roads and traffic, and talk to them about what you are doing and why, whether crossing the road or driving your car.

Teach them to do up their own seat-belt (but always check it) and how important it is not to distract you or be noisy when you are concentrating on your driving.

Remember to continue to set a good example – they are still watching!

As they get older, start to encourage them to make their own assessments and decisions about crossing the road, but always under supervision.

There is no magic wand to be waved at transition from Primary to Secondary school, all of a sudden in the school holidays your child becoming old enough to travel to school on their own – it is all in your preparation! Practice the route to secondary school, crossing any difficult roads, talk about what to do if the bus doesn’t turn up, make sure they know how to use a public phone box, establish any ‘safe havens’ they could go to on the route if things go wrong, cycle the route with them at different times of day if they are going to be using their bike and make sure they understand the importance of wearing their safety gear.

Tips for parents of secondary school children

Discuss the school journey and help your child to work out solutions to any problems they may be encountering e.g. school bus behaviour or busy roads to cross.

Make sure your child can read bus/train timetables, follow a map, use a public phone box, knows their Highway Code.

Set some ground rules – where they can and can’t go after school, keeping in contact with you about being late or changes of plans, what time they have to be home by, wearing their seat-belt in other vehicles etc. Review the rules periodically and agree them together rather than impose them.

It is even more essential now that you are setting a good example, especially when driving – it will not be long before they are learning to drive/ride and they are still watching you and learning from you!

Tips for parents of learner and novice drivers/riders

Take a refresher lesson yourself – get rid of any bad habits you may have developed. Work with your chosen driving instructor to learn some of the modern driving techniques that have evolved since you passed your Test, and ask the instructor to teach you some positive body language that disguises your possible nervousness of being a passenger with a learner driver/rider!

Choose an instructor who gets on with your child – progress will be slow if there is a personality clash.

Quality instruction and plenty of quality practice is required to produce a confident and safe young driver, ready to take their test. Work with the instructor on planning practice sessions that will enhance the work done in the lesson.

On practice sessions do NOT instruct – you are there to supervise practice – and make sure you are supervising legally.

Once your child has passed their test, establish some agreed ground rules, make sure they and their vehicle are legal, and that they do all the basic checks to keep their vehicle well-maintained.

If your learner is on two wheels (moped or scooter) make sure they do their CBT, understand the importance of wearing all the appropriate protective gear, and ride legally at all times.

Be a willing taxi when required, or they may be tempted to drive or ride tired, or under the influence or alcohol.

For parents of new drivers

Tips for parents of young drivers

Try to be involved in the purchase of your child’s first car or moped/motorcycle – this is likely to be the biggest expenditure they have ever made and they will be inexperienced in making important choices and knowing their rights. Sound systems and alloy wheels may seem essential to them, but they do not contribute to road safety. ABS, ESC and airbags are features which have been proved to reduce injury severity. Encourage them to choose safety over looks!

Persuade your young adult to take further driver training – Pass Plus/Pass Plus Cymru (as soon after passing their test as possible). Advanced driver training will help them to become safer and wiser road users. (This can lead to a discount on their insurance and improve their employment prospects.)

Discuss with them, the responsibility that they have to their passengers and everyone’s families.

Talk about the risks of taking alcohol or drugs before driving and also the need to ensure that all their passengers are wearing seat-belts. By the same token discourage them from giving lifts to friends who may be the ‘worse for wear’ due to alcohol or drugs and whose behaviour is likely to distract a novice driver.

If you are concerned about the general driving of any of their friends (or anyone else) with whom they may take lifts, say so! Challenge the issues. By getting involved before a crash happens you may help prevent a tragedy.

Remember

There is nothing wrong with the love of driving or riding - even at speed - if it is in the right environment (eg on a race-track).

srsCULTURE encourages a responsible attitude to car and bike ownership, respect for other road users and, the aspiration to become a good and safe driver/rider for life.

Young people have the potential to be the best drivers/riders on our roads. Yet they are disproportionately represented in casualty statistics. The two main reasons for this are generally deemed to be their inexperience and attitude.

Although road safety is something all young drivers/riders should take seriously, it’s not seen as being very ‘cool’.

Tips for children (you and me) with elderly parents!

Have the ‘conversation’ well in advance of the time to be giving up driving

Try to ensure that they seek eyesight, hearing and general health checks.

Encourage them to drive at quieter times of day, if possible and avoid driving at night.

Seek help with maintenance on their vehicle if required.

Plan the transition to ‘life without the car’ together and in a sympathetic but positive way.

Vouchers for taxis, home delivery service for shopping etc make excellent presents for the parents who ‘have everything’ except their beloved car.