The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has launched a new safety guide designed to make children safer on the way to and from school.
The guide – titled ‘Road Injury Prevention: Resources to Support Schools to Promote Safe Active Travel’ – aims to make getting to school safer by improving road safety education while promoting walking and cycling.
Public Health England commissioned the guide, which ‘provides advice and information for teaching staff, parents and carers highlighting the importance of supporting effective road safety education as well as sharing steps that some schools have taken to promote safe active travel’.
A number of key areas designed to make kids more road savvy are highlighted in the guide, including the difference between footpaths and roads, how to plan a safe journey to school, cycle training and learning the Highway Code.
It is hoped the guide will help reduce the number of child road deaths and serious injuries in England, of which there were 1,782 cases in 2014 – an increase of 50 on the 1,732 figure in 2013.
Boys are more likely to be hit by a car compared with girls, the report said, with 1,171 killed or seriously injured in 2014 compared with 611 girls.
Although the overall figure has increased, RoSPA noted it has been in decline since 1979, a year when 10,175 children were killed or seriously injured. It has, however, since levelled out at around or just below 2,000 accidents since 2010.
RoSPA 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.”
Public Health England national lead for children, Eustace de Sousa, added: “We’re delighted to work with RoSPA on this important piece of work to help raise awareness of the risks of road accidents in young people as they travel to and from school.
“We remain committed to working with local authorities and educational professionals to stop the number deaths from road collisions amongst young people from increasing.
“By taking this important data and guidance in consideration, we can help reduce preventable deaths in the 0-15 age group.”
Anyone wanting to read the guide can click this link, within which are teaching guides and resources for schools.