Safety first as pupils go back to school
Road safety experts at St.Helens Council are urging parents to
make sure their child is well prepared for their journey to
Traffic is the biggest single killer of 12-16 year olds.
Across Merseyside, 52 children aged 12 to 16 were killed or
seriously injured on the roads during 2011.
Council Road Safety Teams across Merseyside are reminding
parents that young people in their first few years at secondary
school are the most at risk when it comes to injury on the
roads. Many have a longer journey that they are less familiar
with, and may have to walk or cycle on busier roads or use public
transport on their own for the first time. They may also be
travelling without adult supervision but with friends who distract
them from concentrating on their road safety.
Gill Roberts of the Merseyside Road Safety Officer's Group
says: "Young people tend to think that road traffic
collisions will never happen to them so road safety can seem like a
low priority compared to the other pressures of starting secondary
school - but the truth is that 12 to 16 year olds are a high risk
Councillor Richard McCauley, Cabinet Member for Environmental
Protection and Safer Communities said: "Secondary school
opens up new opportunities and experiences, and we'd like young
people to make the most of this exciting time by being clear that
with greater independence comes greater responsibility. It is
important they remember that just one moment of distraction near
roads can have devastating, life changing consequences."
Road Safety teams across Merseyside will be delivering
interactive road safety awareness sessions in secondary schools
this autumn to remind pupils about the dangers of distractions such
as mobile 'phones, I-pods and the biggest distraction of all -
What can parents do to help prepare their child for independent
· Ask your child to take you with them on their new school
route so you can talk through possible hazards together. Help
them to plan the safest route to school and discuss why it's
· Teach your child how to spot what drivers are likely to do
next, e.g. the use of road signs.
· If your child has a bike, encourage them to continue wearing
a helmet. They can reduce the chances and severity of head
· Explain how to behave safely when using public transport
e.g. where to cross the road after getting off a bus.
· Talk to your child about the effect that your child's
friends may have on their behaviour. Talk to them about peer
pressure and risky behaviour, and what they could do if their
friends were behaving in an unsafe manner.
For further information please contact:
Senior Road Safety Officer
St Helens Council
Tel: 01744 673233