Parents play a pivotal role in teaching their children to
be safe at all times. It is essential that children
and young people are educated to use the road safely.
As they grow and develop they need to learn to be safe in
different environments - as passengers, pedestrians,
cyclists and, eventually drivers. Here are some instances and
practical ways in which you can help to educate your child,
through day-to-day experiences, whilst out and about:
Your child should be taught to hold your hand when near
a road. Teach your child to walk and not run. When walking on
the pavement make sure that you are positioned between
your child and the kerb. If no footpath is available you should
walk on the right side of the road facing the traffic and
be positioned between the road and your child.
The Green Cross code. Provides a guide to help people cross
roads safely. From the age of eight years, children can be
taught the Green Cross Code whilst children below this age should be taught
the more basic message of Stop, Look and, Listen. To help your child be a
safe pedestrian, teach them to use their eyes, ears, judgement and common
sense. Teach them the safe road crossing procedure -
STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN:
You and your child should:
STOP with toes behind the kerb, or edge of the road if there is no footpath;
LOOK in all directions for approaching traffic;
LISTEN in all directions for approaching traffic;
when safe to do so, walk straight across the road. Keep LOOKING and
LISTENING for traffic while crossing.Safer Places to Cross:-
Make sure your child knows the safer places to cross the road:-
whenever possible, your child should cross at a pedestrian crossing such
as a pelican crossing or a zebra crossing;
Your child should have a clear view of approaching traffic, so the drivers
can also see your child. Even at crossings your child must remain alert and
check whether vehicles are stopping. Your child should:-
Always make sure traffic has actually stopped before stepping onto the road;
Remember at a school crossing patrol your child must always cross in front
of the patrol person and only when the patrol person indicates that it is safe;
At railway level crossings, wait for the bells and lights to stop and the
boom barriers to be raised before crossing. Many accidents occur because
pedestrians cross immediately after a train,
not realising a second train is coming.
Be Safe Be Seen:
Most pedestrians are hit by vehicles because the driver does not
see them until it is too late. Make sure:
your child wears bright or fluorescent clothing during the day and
light-coloured clothing and a reflector (for example, an armband) at night;
when crossing a road, your child never assumes that a driver
has seen him/her;
your child is taught to avoid crossing roads near the crest of a hill, at a
bend, or between parked cars because it is harder for drivers to
see him/her in these places.
Up to 5 years - young children lack the skills, knowledge and judgement
to be able to cope with traffic and so need to be
5 years to around 10 years - parents can help children by providing plenty
of practical supervised experience in using the road safely, as part of their
daily journey. Research shows that children under age 12 years do not
have the skills and experience to be safe in traffic.
Up to around 11 to 12 years - children should be supervised by an adult in
traffic. Teach them safe traffic behaviour and set a good example.
From 11 or 12 years - children may become more independent in their travel;
however in complex traffic situations they still require supervision. Check
regularly to ensure that children remember and follow safety procedures.
Work with them to plan safe walking routes.