Commissioned by Public Health England, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) produced a document specifically aimed at schools to help promote safe and active travel for their pupils to and from school. This new guide to help keep children safe on the roads when getting to and from their schools was launched at the RoSPA Safety Conference on March 2nd.
The guide was published by the Government under the title Road Injury Prevention: Resources to Support Schools to Promote Safe Active Travel and it has been designed to provide practical advance and guidance for teaching staff as well as parents and carers with regard to children’s safety when walking to and from school. It highlights the importance of providing good support for effective road safety education as well as providing examples of what some schools have already done to promote safe active travel for their pupils.
The number of children killed on the roads and seriously injured in England rose in 2014, with 50 more deaths in 2014 than 2013, up to 1782 from 1732. This is a figure which remains far too high and it is positive to see RoSPA and the government working together to act upon it.
Speaking on behalf of RoSPA their road safety manager Nick Lloyd said: “Road collisions remain one of the main causes of premature death amongst children and young people aged 0 -15, which is why it is important that we highlight the issue in order for schools to contribute to road injury prevention and help save lives.
“This document is a useful guide for people working in education enabling them to help reduce road accidents involving children by teaching them how to cope with the traffic environment.”
The guide has specifically been designed for people working in educational environments but it has plenty of information for others in different roles including those working in road safety, public health and school nursing and it provides a valuable snapshot of some key messages which are relevant to schools and it provides direct signposts to a range of useful resources to support children’s road safety education from Key Stage 1 up to Key Stage 4.
The government encourages children to walk to school wherever possible as it is a healthy and active way to ensure daily exercise is being carried out but it is also important that children and parents feel safe on the road and a good standard of safety education is a positive step towards this.