Road Safety Teams across Merseyside are urging everyone to take extra care as children return to school.
Many of us have become used to less frequent journeys on quieter roads and March is likely to bring increased traffic, pedestrians and cyclists.
With the added complications of social distancing and concerns around Covid-19, it is essential that we also remain mindful of the dangers of the road environment.
Whatever the mode of transport, the school run will be largely unfamiliar as most children have not been in regular schooling since December. It is important for parents and guardians to take the time to talk to their child about staying safe on their journeys.
Young children are unpredictable and need close supervision – hold hands with them whenever possible and demonstrate the behaviour you expect from them. Stop at the kerb every time and make sure that they know to look in every direction – not just left and right – before deciding it’s safe to cross.
Older children may need a reminder to pay attention to their surroundings as they can easily be distracted when they are on their phones or walking with friends. Distractions are a major factor in this age group being injured on the road.
Make sure your child wears a helmet every time they get on their bike, whether it’s on the journey to school or for a quick cycle in the park.
When cycling to school the simplest way to protect children is for them to wear a helmet every time they get on their bike, even if it’s a quick cycle around the block or down to the park. Where possible try to use off-road cycle paths and make sure that you are giving people walking, as well as other cyclists, plenty of space as you approach. Make sure your bike has a bell, reflectors and lights.
If you’re driving – especially during school drop off and pick up times, please remember to look out for vulnerable road users. You’ll also need to allow for increased journey times and and be considerate when parking your vehicle – see our section on pavement parking for more info.
Why not join us in taking The Road Safety Pledge. We all need to do our bit to help reduce road casualties/fatalities in Merseyside and make our roads safer for ALL road users, find out more here.
You can find hints and tips about safe independent travel for senior age children (and some of this info is relevant for children of all ages) in Knowlsey Council’s ‘Moving Up’ booklet (created to help with the transition of moving up to senior school but still helpful at this time), to view it click here.