From January 2019 to December 2022, 27% of KSI (killed or seriously injured) pedestrian casualties were under the age of 16.
Tips to keep young pedestrians safe:
Teach young children to…
- Hold hands with an adult when they go out and don’t let them run ahead.
- Follow the road safety code: STOP, LOOK, LISTEN, THINK. Stop before the kerb and then look and listen for traffic. Keep looking both ways and listening, then think about whether the road is clear to cross. If the road is clear, cross whilst continuing to look both ways. Remember to look and listen for vehicles that are not always easy to see, like bikes, cars coming around a bend, etc.
- Always look for safer places to cross. This includes zebra crossings, puffin/pelican crossings, school crossing patrols, pedestrian islands, footbridges and subways. Avoid unsafe places to cross such as near a junction or near a bend in the road. If there is no safer crossing available, make sure you find somewhere away from junctions and bends, where you can clearly see traffic coming from both directions.
They must use their eyes and ears together when checking the road as sometimes you can hear traffic before you can see it. Teach young children to be aware that cars on the road travel closest to you from the right. This is why a pedestrian should look right first and last (right, left, right). Children under the age of ten may not able to judge speed, distance or the origin of sound as well as adults can, so they should look for bigger gaps in the traffic than adults might look for.
Set a good example…
Remember, children copy adults so set a good example whenever you can. Always follow the road safety code, look for safer places to cross and generally display good pedestrian behaviour.
Stop, look all around & listen. This also applies to car parks, children should learn of the potential dangers in car parks. Also be aware of driveways which cars may be backing out or driving into. Teach young pedestrians that if they are unable to see the driver, the driver will not be able to see the pedestrian. Avoid crossing where your visibility is poor, for example: the brow of a hill, a corner or close to parked cars.
Be Bright Be Seen…
As the days get darker, our visibility decreases and can be a concern. Drivers need to take extra care to look out for pedestrians during darker conditions, but there’s also things we can do to improve the visibility of ourselves and our children. Wearing bright and reflective clothing can help make us more visible near the roads. In fact, reflective clothing means we can be seen up to three times further away by drivers using headlights. The information below shows what we can wear in different conditions to ‘Be Bright, Be Seen’.
In poor daylight conditions: Wear light – coloured, bright or fluorescent clothing. Examples: bright coloured coat/hat/gloves/hi-vis jacket.
When it is dark: Wear reflective clothing/materials. Examples: reflective armband, reflective keyrings, hi-vis jacket, reflective footwear.
Click here for practical videos showing you how to teach road safety to children when out and about .