Back to school road safety tips for you and your children
With Shropshire children set to return to school next week, Shropshire Council’s road safety education team has issued some road safety tips for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.
With all the stresses and excitement that the return to school brings, one critically important activity can be overlooked by parents – ensuring their children are safe on journeys to and from school.
Children are our most vulnerable road-users and so it is up to us all to ensure we play our part in keeping them safe.
Take time to check out the route to school including any potential hazard points along the way. Look for the safest crossing places. If your child is moving up to a new school, plan the journey and allow plenty of time.
Don’t be distracted by use of devices, particularly when crossing the road. Children are advised to wear bright clothing, and preferably reflective or fluorescent items.
Regular walking to school is a fantastic way for children and adults to stay active.
Cycling to school
Now is a good time to make sure your child’s bicycle is in good working order – and wearing an approved cycle helmet is recommended. Lights may also be needed during the darker months.
School bus advice
Children are advised to arrive at the bus stop five minutes early. When getting off the bus, they should wait until it moves off and the road is clear in both directions before crossing the road.
Take your time and be patient
The school year comes with a substantial increase in morning and evening traffic. Drivers should allow an extra 10 or 15 minutes for their morning commute. The extra time will not only reduce stress but help keep our roads safer. Drivers are less likely to speed or engage in other dangerous driving habits when they aren’t running late. It will also provide time to park well away from the school, helping reduce congestion outside school and give children the benefit of a short walk.
Slow down and be alert
Drivers should watch for children walking in the road, especially if there are no pavements in the neighbourhood. Watch for children playing and gathering near bus stops. Children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street without looking for traffic.