Articles Tagged ‘educator - Brake the road safety charity’

A road safety policy for your school or nursery

Below is a template road safety policy that schools and nurseries can use and adapt according to your needs. It provides a bedrock on which you can build a range of road safety initiatives to help pupils and others in your community to be safe. Use our guide to teaching road safety to develop your initiatives.

OUR SCHOOL/NURSERY ROAD SAFETY POLICY

  1. The safety of our children will always come first. Our most important priority is to prevent the death or injury of a child while in our care.

  2. If out and about with pupils on foot, we will always prioritise walking safely, in line with the latest safety advice.

  3. If transporting pupils by vehicle, we will always prioritise doing so safely, in line with the latest safety advice.

  4. We will teach road safety within the classroom, integrating into project work in a range of curriculum lessons as well as teaching separately in safety and citizenship lessons, and reviewing the amount and quality annually.

  5. (For establishments with available safe road environments.) We will teach practical pedestrian and cycle training at the roadside in line with best practice advice.

  6. We will get involved in useful awareness-raising initiatives that promote road safety in our wider community, such as Road Safety Week, Beep Beep! Day for pre-schoolers and Brake's Giant Walk for primary pupils.

  7. We will aim to improve the safety and environmental standards of transport to and from our premises by having a School Travel Plan that aims to reduce use of cars and improve the safety of children on foot or bikes and that we implement and update annually.

 

An introduction to teaching road safety

Engaged in the right way, children and young people can really enjoy studying and campaigning for road safety because it is an issue they can understand and that affects them. And teaching road safety is a great way for you to reach goals for citizenship, health and safety and across the curriculum. This page provides an introduction to teaching road safety effectively and why it is such an important topic to teach.

Sensitivity issues
Before teaching road safety, check whether any children have been bereaved by, or hurt in, or witnessed a serious a road crash, and be sensitive to their needs. Talk to them and their carers about whether they wish to be excluded from classroom lessons that discuss death or injury. Brake has developed resources for children bereaved by road crashes and their carers. Call our help line 0845 603 8570 to obtain these resources.

Why road safety is an important teaching topic
Every death of a child is devastating for a nursery, school or college. You can play a vital role in protecting children by incorporating road safety into lessons and engaging in activities to get life-saving messages across to pupils, parents and throughout the local community. You also have a responsibility to ensure high standards of road safety when on trips away from your school on foot or by vehicle. You are also at the heart of a community and therefore well placed to work with local government to implement necessary road safety engineering improvements, such as crossings or lower speed limits, on local roads.

Road safety also falls within curriculum requirements. It appears in different parts of the curriculum in different parts of Britain. In England, for example, road safety education is part of the statory frameworks for PSHE and citizenship at key stages 1 and 2. It also can be linked to the wider curriculum, in subject areas such as geography, maths and science. For more on prioritising road safety to meet curriculum requirements, see the Department of Transport's guidance on delivering road safety education in your early years setting or school.

When explaining to colleagues why you want to focus on road safety, you might want to mention these 7 important points:

  1. For every child killed, about ten more are seriously injured, causing brain injuries, paralysis and limb loss. These are horrendous, life-changing injuries for a child. Every community is affected by road death and injury at some stage.
  2. Many of these deaths and injuries will not hit the headlines, and only be reported in local press, so the problem is bigger than you may imagine; death on the road is the biggest killer of older children and young people in the UK.
  3. The UK has one of the worst child road death rates in Europe.
  4. It is particularly important to focus on road safety if you have busy fast roads in your community, or if you are based in an area with deprived families. Deprived children are much more likely to die on roads than more well-off children who have large gardens and cars.
  5. Poor road safety engineering (high speed limits, lack of cycle paths, lack of crossings) is one of the biggest causes of poor child health, because children and their parents choose, due to the danger, not to walk or cycle, and take the car instead.
  6. Boys are much more likely to die or be hurt than girls. They are more inclined to take risks on foot, bicycles, and when a novice driver.
  7. The older children get, the more at risk they become, as they gain independence. So road safety is not just a topic for young children.

Classroom teaching is more effective if combined with practical experiences and campaigning
Effective road safety learning involves three components: classroom teaching, roadside experiences and training and then, best of all, getting the children working within your community to campaign for road safety.

Effective road safety teaching needs to:

  • Build on existing knowledge, not preach
  • Require children to think for themselves
  • Be discussive and creative and related to real life

Children need to be taught their road safety ABC:

A is for awareness (traffic is dangerous and hurts people)
B is for behaviour (rules you must follow to stay safer)
C is for choice and community campaigning (how to make the safest choices and to help others make these choices too)

Under 8’s can be taught A and B from the age of two upwards. They can be taught rules and encouraged to follow them through practical training. However, under 8’s should never use roads without an adult, and adults should follow the Green Cross Code at all times when on foot with their children. Adults should, at all times, hold children’s hands or use reins with younger children because under 8’s:
-have difficulty judging speed and distance;
-are easily distracted and act on impulse;
-have difficulty understanding danger and death and are oriented around play;
-are small (so can’t see hazards) and are still developing eyesight and hearing;
-should never be allowed to walk near roads on their own for these reasons and more. -are carefree, not careless!

Over 8’s will have more ability to understand C, and make their own choices based on different options and assessment of risk. However, they need to have A and B re-emphasised to them because over 8’s:
-may walk on their own but make mistakes that can cost their lives because of lack of experience;
-are vulnerable to peer pressure from other children to make risky choices, such as running across a road.

The following sections list teaching topics within the road safety ABC.

A is for awareness: Traffic is dangerous and hurts people
You can teach, with increasing frankness as children get older, that:

  • Traffic hurts thousands of people every year.
  • People hurt by traffic are often killed and seriously injured. Injuries include paralysis and losing limbs. (Note: many children may think minor injuries such as breaking an arm are OK, or even fun, because it draws attention to them.)
  • Some people do dangerous things when walking or cycling, such as texting on their mobile while crossing a road. These people are more likely to be killed or hurt.
  • Some drivers break laws, which increases the chance of you being killed or hurt - for example, speeding, or driving when drunk. We have laws such as speed limits to stop people being killed or hurt in crashes, but some drivers break laws.

B is for behaviour: Rules you can follow to stay safe
Children need to be taught the language of road safety before they can understand the rules! For example, names of vehicles, names of street furniture such as pavements and kerbs, and an understanding of fast, slow, looking, listening and crossing. A well-educated reception age child should already have a grasp of fundamental road safety rules thanks to their parents. However, others may not have benefited from this care. Therefore, you will have to begin by checking that all children understand the following:

  • Pavements are for people; roads are for traffic.
  • Never go out near roads without a grown up. Hold their hand and don’t let go.
  • Stop at once if you are told. Never try to cross a road until you are told.
  • Never run or play near roads - play in a park or garden.
  • You can help grown ups look and listen for traffic.
  • Lollipop people, pelican crossings and zebra crossings help people cross the road. When a red man appears, it means you must stop.
  • You can wear bright clothes to be seen by traffic.
  • In a car, never undo your belt and don’t play with door handles or try to get out.

By the age of 5, children are ready to learn, in addition to the above:

  • The Crossing Code (find a safe place to cross, stop, look, listen, cross with care)
  • The safest places to cross: underpasses; footbridges; where there is a lollipop person; pelican and puffin crossings; zebra crossings.
  • In a car, only get out on the pavement side.
  • In a bus or coach or minibus, wear your seat belt if one is fitted. When getting off, never cross the road in front or behind the bus. Wait until it has pulled away so you can see in all directions.

By the age of 9 and upwads, depending on development, children are ready to explore:

  • Bereavement issues and the social and economic impacts of road crashes.
  • The responsibilities of drivers.
  • The dangers of giving in to peer pressure to take risks.

Read more about teaching older pupils further down.

C is for choice: How to make the safest choices and help others stay safe too
Under-8’s are ill-equipped to make their own choices. However, it is important that older children recognise their ability to make safe choices, recognise pressures they may come under to make dangerous choices and learn how to resist those pressures, and how to speak up for the safety of others too. Younger children can also be encouraged to think about choices, as long as they are not encouraged to make those choices on their own. All children can be encouraged to speak out against dangerous behaviour, such as children pushing each other into the road, or running across roads without looking, or drivers driving too fast, or people not doing up their seatbelts.

Teaching road safety to children and young people aged 11-20

Pupils aged 11-20 may initially think that road safety is for ‘babies’ and ‘boring’, but most young people have a lot to say about road safety and won’t find it boring as long as it’s taught well! In fact, effective road safety teaching with these age ranges enables you to explore challenging and worth-while areas, including:

  • Death and bereavement
  • Life-changing injuries (paralysis and brain injury) and how this affects people and their families
  • Taking responsibility for others in the context of good citizenship - particularly if we are driving
  • Our addiction to cars and how they affect communities
  • The battle of the sexes - differences in risk-taking behaviour among males and females
  • Alcohol and drugs - the rise in binge-driving and drug use among young people, linked with the issue of drink-driving
  • The power of adrenalin and testosterone to negate concerns for personal safety

There are a number of reasons that pupils may not initially be receptive to road safety teaching because of poor attitudes. For example, they may:

  1. Think they ‘know it all’ and road safety is for ‘babies’;
  2. Already be taking extreme risks on roads (for example, mucking about on foot on busy roads, driving without a licence or taking illegal drugs and driving);
  3. Feel invincible - road crashes happen to someone else, not them. They think their youth and fast reaction times will keep them out of trouble;
  4. Have a misunderstanding of the true extent of deaths and injuries on roads and just how at risk they are, particularly as young people.

On the positive side, young people are likely to:

  • Have witnessed risky behaviour on roads and grasp road safety issues easily as they deal with roads every day;
  • Have experienced, or heard of, someone in their community being hurt or killed in a road crash, and therefore understand that death and serious injury is a reality on roads.

Effective road safety teaching for this age range should:

  • Build on pupils’ existing knowledge, not preach;
  • Require pupils to think for themselves and conduct original research;
  • Be discussive and creative, and related to pupils’ real lives;
  • Involve real-life projects (such as devising and running a campaign to get parents and pupils to ‘belt up’) not just class-room learning;
  • Explore the dangers of risk-taking;
  • Explain clearly that road safety is about stopping deaths and life-long serious injuries and therefore it is crucial to take it seriously - particularly as these pupils are in the highest risk group for dying on roads.

Now plan your lessons!
Go back to Teaching resources for lesson ideas, downloads, web links and more advice.

Dangers of roads for children with SEN

Research suggests that people with learning difficulties or disabilities are more at risk of being hurt or killed on roads. A 15-year study in California indicated that the risk of adults with learning difficulties and disabilities being killed while walking was nearly three times greater than among adults without. [1] However, because UK casualty statistics do not record learning disabilities or difficulties among people injured or killed on roads, it is difficult to assess the extent of risks faced by this group, and specifically for children with different types of learning difficulties or disabilities.

However, some of the effects that different learning difficulties and disabilities may have on pupils safety on roads, and possible obstacles to teaching these children about safety, are outlined below. Whether individual pupils experience these problems or not may depend on the severity and nature of their learning difficulty or disability.

NB: the information below is intended only to illustrate additional risks that may be experienced by children with learning difficulties and disabilities using roads. It is not intended as a complete list of symptoms, behaviours and difficulties that may be displayed or experienced by these children.

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Children with ADD or ADHD may display any of the following:

  • Hyperactivity, often running around excessively - meaning they may be more likely to: suddenly run out into the road; cycle too fast to control their bike properly; or undo their seatbelts, fidget and distract the driver when in a car.
  • Impulsiveness and tendency to act without thinking  - meaning they may be less likely to wait for a green man or until it?s safe to cross, or to stay in line if a group is being taken off the school premises.
  • Little regard for personal safety  - often acting without fear or without considering the consequences, so may be more likely to run into the road or take chances with approaching traffic.
  • Forgetful and easily distracted in the course of everyday activities - meaning they may be likely to become distracted while crossing the road or cycling, or simply forget to ?stop, look and listen? or apply other safety rules.
  • A tendency to not listen to others or follow instructions - so even if being supervised, they may not listen to, or obey, safety instructions from an adult. [2]

Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Children with an ASD may display any of the following:

  • Difficulty thinking and behaving flexibly according to different situations, and a tendency to tie new skills to the circumstances in which they are taught ? meaning these children may not apply safety instructions or rules to every relevant situation. For example, a child taught to use the Green Cross Code when crossing a particular road may not automatically know to apply the code to crossing other roads.
  • Difficulty understanding social contexts - meaning they may not respond to being taught about road safety in the context of what?s ?right and wrong?, or what?s safe or dangerous. They may also find it difficult to apply these concepts to particular situations.
  • Difficulty communicating with and understanding others - so may have difficulties understanding verbal instructions from adults supervising them on roads, and may be unable to communicate any difficulties they are having keeping themselves safe.
  • Over or under-sensitivity to sights and sounds - this may put these children at risk on roads by causing panic in reaction to certain noises or sights (due to over-sensitivity), and/or a lack of awareness of dangers like approaching traffic (due to under-sensitivity).
  • Forgetful and easily distracted in the course of everyday activities - meaning they may be likely to become distracted while crossing the road or cycling, or simply forget to 'stop, look and listen' or apply other safety rules.
  • Strong interests which can cause distractions - for example, a child may have a strong interest in cars, which could cause them to walk into a road without looking to see a car they like.

Dyspraxia (or Developmental Co-ordination Disorder)

Children with dyspraxia may display any of the following:

  • Co-ordination difficulties - meaning they may be at particular risk of stumbling or falling into the road while walking or swerving while cycling.
  • Problems judging distance - this can make it difficult for children to judge how far away approaching traffic is and when it's safe to cross.
  • Inability to tell left from right consistently - meaning they may find it difficult following the instructions of an adult supervisor when using roads, or obeying road markings telling pedestrians to 'look left' or 'look right'.
  • Problems doing two things at once or completing complex tasks - meaning they may have difficulty following instructions for using roads safely that involve several actions, like the Green Cross Code. [3]

Dyslexia

Children with dyslexia may display any of the following:

  • Difficulties reading - this may cause problems reading any written instructions or advice on using roads safely, including road signs and markings.
  • Difficulties following a series of instructions in order - so may have difficulties following instructions from an adult supervisor when using roads, or applying a series of actions in order, like the Green Cross Code.
  • Problems with directional words like left/right and up/down - so may find it difficult following the instructions of an adult supervisor when using roads, or obey signs that tell you to 'look left' or 'look right'. [4]

Back to menu - Teaching road safety to children with SEN


[1] Strauss D, Shavelle R, Anderson T W and Baumeister A (1998). External causes of death among persons with developmental disability: the effect of residential placement. American Journal of Epidemiology, 147 (9), 855-862.

[2] Symptoms of ADD and ADHD from www.netdoctor.co.uk

[3] Problems associated with dyspraxia from www.rdg.ac.uk, University of Reading

[4] Problems associated with dyslexia from www.rdg.ac.uk, University of Reading, and www.bda-dyslexia.org.uk, British Dyslexia Association

Disclaimer: Brake is not responsible for the content of external websites

Devising road safety lessons and activities for pupils with SEN

Consider pupils abilities to understand risk

On the other teaching resources pages, you'll find information on the general abilities of children of different ages to perceive and understand risk and make safe choices. Advice on these pages is based on 'normal' development of these abilities. Therefore it's essential to consider SEN pupils' abilities to perceive and understand risks and make safe choices, in order to decide which safety messages to teach.

Consider risks faced by pupils now, and risks they may face in the future
It's important, as when delivering road safety education to any children, to consider the actual risks they face in their everyday lives, and how pupils' learning difficulties and disabilities may heighten those risks. For example, you may have a large number of pupils, including some with ADHD who are impulsive and easily distracted, who walk to school, and have to negotiate fast, busy roads on the way. In this case, providing effective teaching about the risks posed by fast traffic and the importance of walking safely in a way that is accessible and relevant for pupils with ADHD (as well as working with your local authority to try to achieve safety measures on the roads) should be a priority.

You should also try to consider what risks pupils with SEN may face in the future. For example, pupils moving up to secondary school may start to walk and cycle independently more often and may encounter new pressures to act dangerously. Lessons should take this into account. Some pupils with SEN may have previously had limited opportunity for independent travel and exploration, but these opportunities may increase as they get older, so they still need to be equipped with an understanding of how to keep themselves safe. Effective road safety education may help a child with SEN gain independence and mobility.

Consider what teaching methods will be most effective
As when teaching any subject to pupils with SEN, it is important to have an understanding of what is meaningful for those pupils and therefore what teaching methods they are most likely to respond to. This is particularly important for children with severe learning difficulties.[1] Many children with SEN will respond to clear instructions, with defined goals or rewards, as long as these goals or rewards are based on what is relevant to them.[2] It?s also crucial to consider any limitations of pupils' communication skills, and ensure that teaching is accessible for all pupils involved, if appropriate by using alternative teaching methods such as role-play and visuals.

Plan classroom and practical education
When educating any child on walking and cycling safely, the most effective teaching combines both classroom-based learning and practical roadside training. Practical training has been shown to be particularly effective for many children with learning difficulties, helping them to relate road safety rules and skills to a real-life context, and encouraging them to take responsibility for their own safety. [3] However, it is crucial to consult with your local council's road safety officer on the needs of your pupils and ensure that training can be run safely. To find details of your local road safety officer click here. You should also consult with parents, carers (as below) and your local authority's SEN specialist. Training for any pupils can be labour-intensive, but may be even more so for pupils with SEN who may require individual supervision and teaching, depending on the nature of their learning difficulty or disability. For this reason it requires thorough planning.

Involve parents and carers' and get them to teach road safety too
It's important to involve parents and carers in planning lessons and activities, particularly for children with severe learning difficulties and disabilities. You should consult them on: how their child uses roads; the main risks they perceive the child facing now and in the future; any problems or successes they have had in the past when teaching the child about road safety and other safety topics; and what teaching techniques they know to be most effective for their child. It may also be appropriate to directly involve parents or carers in any practical roadside training. Many parents will have already been teaching road safety to their children from an early age, so can offer valuable input on the abilities of their child and the most effective teaching methods.

Involving parents and carers has the additional benefit of reinforcing the importance of them teaching road safety to children outside school on an ongoing basis. Effective road safety teaching in schools should be constantly reinforced by all adults who use roads with the children.[4] It is particularly important with children with SEN to ensure that road safety messages taught inside and outside school are consistent, so it's crucial to establish and maintain effective communications with parents on what's being taught.

Adapt lesson ideas according to pupils' needs
Some advice on teaching road safety to children with different types of SEN is given below. You can use this advice to adapt lesson ideas and activities on this website for 5-8 year-olds, 8-11 year-olds, 11-15 year-olds and 15-18 year-olds. Depending on the needs and abilities of pupils, you may find you can adapt lesson ideas for the age group you are teaching, or from the age group below. You may find it useful to write a long-term plan, and targets, for teaching road safety into pupils? Individual Education Plans.

For children with severe, profound or multiple learning difficulties, you should consult and work with your local authority's special education needs advisor to develop appropriate lessons.

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

  • Create, and teach the children to develop, personal routines, which are based on children's actual behaviour and which they can use in their everyday lives to keep them safe. For example, if they are driven to school, develop a routine they can use to: get into the car; do up their seatbelt; check siblings are belted up too; play a game or activity on the journey so they don't distract the driver (e.g. see how many red cars they can spot); get out of the car on the pavement side; and walk into school safely. If they regularly walk to a local park or friend's house, create a routine for that journey, including spotting and avoiding hazards and choosing safe places to cross on the way.
  • Use clear, reasonable and specific requests to teach safety rules.For example, ' You should always stop and look and listen for traffic before crossing any road. Only cross when you're sure there's nothing coming. If you step into the road without looking and listening, a car could hit you and hurt or even kill you. rather than It's important to always cross roads sensibly.
  • Set easily understood boundaries,to define what is and isn't appropriate behaviour in terms of putting yourself and others in danger. For example, ask the class to name things they've seen people doing on roads that are safe or dangerous, putting them into the two categories on the board. Then go through with the class the possible outcomes of each action to demonstrate why each is safe or dangerous. You could use slides from our downloadable powerpoint presentation (aimed at pupils of average development age 8-11, 11-15, 15-18) to help you do this.
  • Employ new, innovative teaching methods to create and maintain interest. It may be useful to use role play and visual tools such as models to illustrate the messages you are teaching. Some pupils with ADHD may respond better to visual or movement-based teaching, rather than verbal communication alone.
  • Use one-to-one communication, and remove disruptions or distractions * where possible.* It can be helpful sitting children with ADD or ADHD at the front of the class and engaging different pupils, including those with ADD or ADHD, individually in discussions about risk, taking care to relate it to their real lives. [5]

Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

  • Help children 'generalise' safety skills or rules, encouraging them to apply what they're taught to a range of situations when using roads. For example, teach that the Green Cross Code should be used when crossing any road, no matter what. Then talk through different scenarios and settings (using pictures or toy people and cars or stories) asking children what they should do in each case, to demonstrate the Code should be used in each. Some of the settings could include pressures on the children to act dangerously or disobey the Code, such as a friend calling to them from over the road, or being in a rush to get to school on time. It is also important to consider and highlight exceptions to rules, such as emergency service vehicles going through red lights.
  • Use practical training, which is easier to generalise than class-room teaching, as it is based in a context that is closer to real life. If possible, provide this training on the routes that pupils actually use.
  • Explain the importance of safety rules in literal terms, rather than by putting them into a social context of what's acceptable and what will be viewed favourably. For example, explain specifically that failing to follow safety rules can lead to death or serious injury, rather than talking about being 'good', 'sensible' or 'naughty'.
  • Make sure your instructions are clear and complete. For example, the following could be misunderstood if taken literally, as it may be by a pupil with ASD: You should always stop and look and listen for traffic before crossing any road. If you don't, a car could hit you and hurt or even kill you. This could be understood to mean that as long as you stop, look and listen, you'll be safe. It misses out the step of 'Only cross if there are no vehicles coming.'

Dyspraxia

  • Teach the dangers of taking chances - children with dyspraxia may have particular difficulty judging the distance between them and approaching traffic. However, it's important to teach all children that it's difficult for anyone (even adults) to judge the speed at which traffic is approaching. It's made even harder by many drivers breaking speed limits. Emphasise that children shouldn't cross unless they are certain the way is clear. Ideally, they should plan routes that make use of traffic-light controlled crossings or zebra crossings, although on the latter children should always wait until traffic has come to a complete stop. (If routes to your school don't have crossings, you can contact your local council to find out if they can be put in place.) To demonstrate the dangers of taking chances, and of crossing roads with fast traffic, you could measure out stopping distances of vehicles travelling at different speeds. You could also discuss dangerous things that some drivers do that mean they might not be able to spot a child in the road (e.g. speeding, talking on a mobile, driving while tired or drunk) and why the children think drivers take these risks.
  • Teach the dangers of staying well away from traffic, especially fast traffic.Children with dyspraxia may be at particular risk of stumbling into the road. This is particularly dangerous on faster roads, where drivers are less likely to be able to stop in time. It's important to teach all children the importance of using safe routes where they are available, particularly footpaths that are set away from traffic, and routes that make use of crossings and avoid fast roads. You could also work with the children to draw a big map of the area, plotting safe routes to and from the school and linking homes to local amenities.
  • Help children develop strategies for telling left from right ' many children may have difficulty telling left from right so it may be a useful exercise to get all pupils to come up with their own ideas for ways of remembering left from right, such as wearing different coloured gloves or shoelaces (red representing right), holding up their forefingers and thumbs at right-angles to see which hand spells 'L', or visualising which hands they hold their knife and fork in. Encourage pupils to stop and think about which is which before following an instruction, and to check with an adult or friend if they're not sure.
  • Communicate your teaching to specialists working with pupils children with dyspraxia may be seeing specialists to help develop certain skills, particularly the physical movements involved in daily tasks. If possible, get in touch with these specialists (via pupils' families) to tell them about the road safety lessons you're running, and to help them reinforce your teaching and incorporate road safety into their sessions. For example, specialists may be able to run exercises to help children carry out the physical actions needed to cross a road safely.

Dyslexia

  • Use practical training, role play, diagrams and other visual aidsto demonstrate how to make safe choice on roads, which dyslexic children are likely to find more memorable and easier to understand than written rules. For example, get children to act out different scenes involving them experiencing pressures to use act dangerously. They could act out two alternative endings for each scene  one where they act safely and one where they act dangerously. You could also use pictures and diagrams from Brake's powerpoint presentations (for 8-11s, 11-15s and 15-18s).
  • Help children develop strategies for telling left from right (as above, under dyspraxia).

Back to menu - Teaching road safety to children with SEN


 

 

[1] Phil Goss, Meaning-led learning for pupils with severe and profound and multiple learning difficulties (British Journal of Special Education, 2006)

[2] www.netdoctor.co.uk

[3] The Road Safety of Children and Adults with Disabilities (Transport Research Laboratory, 2002)

[4] The Road Safety of Children and Adults with Disabilities (Transport Research Laboratory, 2002)

[5] Advice on ?management techniques? for adults working with children with ADD/ADHD from www.netdoctor.co.uk and www.kidsource.com?

Disclaimer: Brake is not responsible for the content of external websites

Educators urged to join the GO 20 campaign for a 2012 legacy of safe walking and cycling

As survey shows 7 in 10 kids are prevented from walking and cycling by traffic danger


19 November 2012

Brake, the road safety charity
t: 01484 559909 e: news@brake.org.uk  

Schools are being urged to get involved with a national campaign launched today (19 November) appealing to drivers and authorities to GO 20, to bring about a 2012 legacy of safe walking and cycling for everyone. Brake, the road safety charity, is calling on all educators to support the campaign as a survey released today shows that more than half of children worry about being hurt by traffic when out and about.

Thousands of schools across the UK are appealing to drivers to slow down to 20mph or below in communities, and calling for 20mph limits across built up areas, so children, families and adults can walk and cycle for their health and enjoyment, and as a cheap and sustainable travel choice, without being endangered.

Brake is encouraging schools to teach children and teenagers about the benefits of 20mph limits and staying safe when walking, cycling and in cars, and also to engage pupils in raising awareness among local drivers about the need to slow down to protect children. Educators can access guidance on this at www.roadsafetyweek.org.

Schools can also report their concerns about pupils' safety on local streets by calling Brake's Zak the Zebra hotline on 08000 68 7780 to receive a campaign action pack.

As the GO 20 campaign is launched at the start of Road Safety Week through street parties and demonstrations across the UK (see below), a survey of more than 8,000 children [1] age 7-11 by Brake and partners Brain Injury Group and Specsavers reveals how the majority of children are being prevented from leading active, healthy lifestyles by traffic danger:

  • Seven in 10 (70%) say they would be able to walk and cycle more if roads in their neighbourhood were less dangerous
  • More than three-quarters (77%) say drivers need to slow down around their home and school
  • Four in 10 (43%) say they have been hit or nearly hit while walking or cycling, and more than half (54%) worry about being hurt by traffic when out and about

A further survey of 280 [2] teachers across the UK reveals that the vast majority believe more should be done to keep children safe on the roads:

  • Nine in 10 (94%) believe roads around their schools and routes connecting their schools with local homes should be made safer for children walking and cycling.
  • Four in five believe roads around their school and routes connecting their schools with local homes would benefit from 20mph limits.

Brake is highlighting that slower speeds in towns, cities and villages can help deliver a post-2012 legacy of active communities, and prevent devastating casualties among pedestrians and cyclists, which increased in 2011 (see below). Many local authorities are recognising the benefits by implementing town and city-wide 20 limits. Brake is calling for: more authorities to follow suit; the government to work towards 20mph being the norm in communities; and drivers to pledge to GO 20in built up areas, even where 30 limits remain.

Why GO 20:

  • Fewer casualties: at 20, drivers have much more time to react, to help them stop in time if they need to, like if a child runs out. Studies show that when 20 limits replace 30, it means fewer casualties among pedestrians and cyclists [3].
  • More walking and cycling: danger from traffic is a major barrier in enabling more people to walk and cycle. Town and city-wide 20 limits have resulted in more people walking and cycling [4].
  • Healthier, happier people: More walking and cycling means healthier people, and more enjoyable outdoors activity for kids and adults. It helps communities interact and be communities.
  • Less pollution: GOing 20 means lower emissions from vehicle journeys [5]. Plus if more people can switch their commute or school run to foot or bike, it means less polluting traffic.
  • Lower costs: Poor health from inactivity costs society dearly [6]. Road casualties cost even more, due to the suffering and burden on health and emergency services [7]. Preventing casualties and improving health means GOing 20 pays for itself many times over [8]. It also helps people save money by choosing the cheapest ways to get about: foot and bike.

Read more about the case for GO 20.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of Brake, says: "Everyone should be able to walk and cycle in their community without fear or threat: it's a basic right, and GO 20 is about defending that. The 2012 Games helped us all realise the importance of being able to live active lifestyles. Critical to this is making our streets and communities safe places we can use and enjoy. Anyone who drives can help bring this about: pledge to GO 20 in communities, even where the limit's still 30: you'll be doing something good for people around you, and you'll hardly notice the difference to your journey. We're also calling on government and authorities everywhere to recognise the need for 20mph, and the huge demand for safe walking and cycling, and GO 20."

Danny Crates, Paralympics presenter, gold medal winner and GO 20 ambassador, says: "I am passionate about children being able to live healthy, happy, active lives: it's something all kids should be able to do, not just the privileged few. Bringing about the 2012 legacy we all want to see isn't only about providing sports facilities. It's also about making our towns, cities and villages places where kids and adults can get out and about – running, walking, cycling, visiting friends, going to the park – without being put in danger, or even being hurt or killed. That's why I'm behind GO 20, and appealing to everyone who's been inspired by the Games to get behind this important campaign."

Drivers and non-drivers can pledge their support for safer walking and cycling at go20.org.

More survey results

8,061 children age 7-11 gave their views through hands-up surveys in schools across the UK. As well as the results above:

  • 72% said they would like to walk and cycle more than they do at present
  • 75% would like more traffic-free cycle paths in their area, while 61% would like more footpaths, pavements and crossings, which they could use to get to school, the park, shops or to see friends
  • 38% said they are not allowed to walk unaccompanied and 47% said they are not allowed to cycle unaccompanied.

Compare results from different UK regions on this restricted-access web page.

Pedestrian and cyclist casualties

Every day in the UK, 19 adults and seven children are mowed down and killed or seriously hurt when on foot or bike.

In 2011 pedestrian deaths and serious injuries went up significantly, and for the first time in 17 years. Pedestrian deaths increased by 12%, while serious injuries increased by 5%. 466 people were killed on foot in 2011 and 5,654 were seriously injured. Of these victims, 31% (1,901) were children: 50 child pedestrians were killed in 2011 and 1,851 suffered serious injuries.

While cyclist deaths decreased by 2% in 2011, serious injuries increased by 16%. 109 cyclists were killed in 2011 and 3,132 suffered serious injuries. Of these victims, 16% (511) were children: 10 child cyclists were killed and 501 suffered serious injuries. [9]

Case studies

Aaron Britt, 16, from Mansfield, was knocked down and killed by a speeding driver outside his college in October 2011. Aaron suffered severe head injuries and died the next day. Read more. Sue Britt, Aaron's mum, said: "Aaron was our only son and we feel empty without him. He was an exceptional young lad; he knew exactly what he wanted to do with his life and had set about making it happen. I urge drivers to slow down to 20mph or less where people are so you have time to stop if someone steps out. Simply making a commitment to slow down will mean you're helping to make roads safer, and it could prevent more people losing their lives needlessly, and other families going through the pain and heartache we have. Aaron was kind and thoughtful and did not deserve to die for making a mistake."

Notes for editors

GO 20 is a partnership campaign being launched by Brake at the start of Road Safety Week 2012 (19-25 November). Find out more at www.go20.org.

Brake is an independent road safety charity. Brake exists to stop the five deaths and 66 serious injuries that happen on UK roads every day and to care for families bereaved and seriously injured in road crashes. Brake runs awareness-raising campaigns, community education programmes, events such as Road Safety Week (19-25 November 2012), and a Fleet Safety Forum, providing advice to companies. Brake's support division cares for road crash victims through a helpline and other services.

Road Safety Week is the UK's flagship event to promote safer road use, coordinated annually by the charity Brake and involving thousands of schools, communities and organisations across the country. Road Safety Week 2012 takes place 19-25 November, with support from headline sponsors Brain Injury Group and Specsavers, plus regional sponsors Woop young driver insurance, Bubblebum UK Ltd, Fleet Support Group and Leigh Day & Co Solicitors.

Road crashes are not accidents; the use of the term 'accident' undermines work to reduce road risk and causes insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by drivers taking risks on roads.

End notes

[1] 8,061 children gave their views through 'hands-up' surveys in schools across the UK, Brake, 2012

[2] 280 teachers gave their opinions through written surveys in schools across the UK, Brake 2012.

[3] For example, 20mph speed reduction initiative, Scottish Executive Central Research Unit, 2001; 20mph Speed Limit Pilots Evaluation Report, Warrington Borough Council, 2010

[4] Where widespread 20 limits have been introduced levels of walking and cycling increased by 20% Citywide Rollout of 20mph speed limits, Bristol City Council Cabinet, 2012

[5] Environmental effects of 30 km/h in urban areas – with regard to exhaust emissions and noise, The Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, 1999

[6] The annual costs of physical inactivity in England are estimated at £8.2 billion. At least five a week - evidence on the impact of physical activity and its relationship to health - a report from the Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, 2004

[7] Road casualties in Britain cost an estimated £34.8billion in 2011, due to the burden on health and emergency services, criminal justice costs, insurance payouts, and human costs. Reported road casualties Great Britain annual reports 2011, Department for Transport, 2012

[8] In Bristol, 20mph resulted in a massive return on investment because of cost savings to the health service through increased physical activity. They used the World Health Organisation's Health Economic Assessment Tool to estimate the changes in costs. They found for every £1 spent they saw a return of £24.72 through increased walking and £7.47 through increased in cycling. Citywide Rollout of 20mph speed limits, Bristol City Council Cabinet, 2012. Reducing speeds in urban environments reduces casualties. For each 1mph speed reduction, casualties decrease by 5%, The effects of drivers' speed on the frequency of road accidents, Transport Research Laboratory, 2000, fewer crashes reduces the burden on the NHS, emergency services and local economy. Each death on roads costs £1.7 million and each serious injury costs £190,000, Reported road casualties Great Britain 2011, Department for Transport, 2012

[9] These figures are from Reported road casualties Great Britain 2011, Department for Transport, 2011, and Police recorded injury road traffic collisions and casualties Northern Ireland annual report 2011, Police Service of Northern Ireland, 2012. Figures for children were requested from the Department for Transport and Police Service for Northern Ireland and are for children aged 0 – 17.

 

Gisela Stuart, MP for Birmingham, Edgbaston, September 2008

sept08Gisela Stuart MP launched a Twenty’s Plenty campaign this month, which aims to tackle speeding traffic in the streets around schools in Bartley Green, Edgbaston, Harborne and Quinton.

After talking to parents, pupils and teachers in her constituency, Gisela launched the campaign to urge Birmingham City Council to introduce a mandatory 20mph speed limit around schools and to appoint more crossing wardens so that children have a safe spot to cross the road on their way to and from school.

With the cooperation of headteachers, Gisela has issued surveys to parents asking whether they would support the introduction of a zone in the area around their child’s school and what other road safety measures they would like to see.

Gisela says: “This is an urban community with extremely busy roads and making the school run safer for children is a major priority. I know that many constituents are keen to see more crossing wardens, especially on some of our busier roads. We will be using the findings of the survey to help put the case for action to the City Council”.

Brake will keep you up-to-date with the progress of this campaign which links in with Brake’s Watch Out, There’s a Kid About! campaign.

Earlier this year, Gisela also supported a resident-led campaign to improve road safety on Monument Road, a local traffic blackspot. The current crossing, located close to the junction with Plough and Harrow Road, was deemed unsafe by many residents and a cause of traffic congestion along this extremely busy road.

Gisela lobbied the Council’s Highways Department for action and the Council has now agreed to upgrade the zebra crossing on Monument Road, Edgbaston, into a pelican crossing. Work on the road will begin at the end of this year.

Gisela says: “Pelican crossings are far safer and it will enable residents and shoppers to cross this busy road far more easily.”

If you know of a dangerous road in your area, call Brake’s Zak the zebra hotline on 08000 68 77 80 or report the road online, and Brake could help you campaign for road safety improvements.

Great ideas for your Beep Beep! Day

Beep 2

It's really easy and fun to take part in Beep Beep! Day and help save little lives.

Read on for our eight steps to a great Beep Beep! Day to get important road safety messages across to ensure children and their families.

There are also lots of ways you can raise funds for Brake and support our work with bereaved families during your Beep Beep! Day so thank you in advance for helping the charity!

Even if you only do two or three of these ideas, you'll still have a great day. Read on and get planning!

BeB_step_1_1Colourful tots! Children are sponsored to wear something crazily colourful - hats, tops, or socks, or whatever they've got.

It makes a great picture for your noticeboard and newsletter and helps emphasise the importance of drivers watching out for kids by slowing down and taking special care around children's homes and your premises.

BB_step_2_1Hand print and paint for safety! Make a giant hand print poster for your foyer using kids' hands and poster paints to help parents and children understand the importance of holding hands. Write across the top: "Going home? Hold hands!" You could also make a giant poster of pavements, roads, parks and buildings while kids cut out pictures of people, kids, buggies, dogs and vehicles from old magazines. Then get kids to stick the pictures in the safest places; children on pavements and in parks, while vehicles go on roads. Or print off copies of our colour-in poster downloads in our teaching resource centre.

BB_step_3_1Sing, listen, learn!Sing a road safety song with actions using the words stop, go, pavement and hold hands. Invent new verses to Wheels on the bus, such as "The children and the grown ups all hold hands, all hold hands, all hold hands". Listen to road noises recorded in advance eg. an ambulance, car, pelican crossing. Can the children tell what they are? Talk to kids using key road safety words such as pavement, kerb, road, car, danger, traffic, stop, look, and listen. Play road safety games on the internet. Or use this leader-led lesson script to teach simple messages including 'wheels go faster than legs', 'traffic is hard and you are soft'. It includes a great rhyme about crossing roads safely (with your mum or dad).

BB_step_4_1Get wet for safety!Invite your local fire service to come in and help the children wash parents' cars in return for a Beep Beep! donation. Kids love getting wet and busy, and fire hoses are very exciting. It's also a great way to teach kids that cars feel hard and are big and kids are soft and small. You can also use it as an opportunity to get kids to hand out to parents campaign flyers they have made themselves, for example with pictures of people holding hands, or kids using child seats, and carrying messages on them that you write, such as Hold hands, Use child seats, Slow Down.

BB_step_5_1Ride on! Make chalked-on roads in your secure playground/garden or hall and cardboard traffic lights, pelican crossings and zebra crossings! Sometimes, your local authority road safety team can lend you pretend road equipment too. Kids 'drive' on any ride-on, scooter or bike, supervised by staff or practise crossing the pretend roads safely on foot. Staff shout out instructions, for example, red means stop, green means go! Safety first! Use as an opportunity to teach key language, such as pavements, traffic, stop, slow, hold hands, kerb, etc.

BB_step_6_1Celebrity visit! Why not ask your local crossing patrol person or police officer to come along and help on the day and explain why they wear a big yellow coat? Young children love someone in uniform and they are often happy to help! Make sure this professional understands the messages you want them to deliver. Pre-school children are too young to be taught how to cross roads unaccompanied. It is much more important and valuable to teach them key road safety language and to teach them to hold hands, stay still in their child seat, and to stay on pavements and away from dangerous traffic.  You could also invite along Brake's mascot Zak the Zebra! He is a busy zebra, so book early!

BB_step_7_1Bake for Brake at break time! Follow this yummy traffic-light biscuit recipe and then scoff them with the kids, saving some to flog to parents to raise more money for Brake! Or have traffic light fruit at break time to be super-healthy: strawberries, satsumas and kiwis do the trick! It's a great opportunity to teach kids that red means stop, and to teach them about street equipment such as traffic lights and safer places to cross such as traffic-light controlled crossings. Show them pictures of these things, or take them on a closely-supervised walk on a safe pavement to show them a traffic-light controlled crossing (one adult per two children so you have a hand for each child).

BB_step_8_1Raise wider awareness through local media! Beep Beep! Day is a great way to raise awareness among local drivers of the importance of driving slowly and safely in communities to protect families. Getting coverage in local media helps to get this important message out, it's great publicity for you, plus kids and parents often love being in the local paper or on the radio! You can use the template press release Brake emails you (once your day is set up) to invite local media, plus you can ring up local journalists and photographers a day or two before to invite them. Just make sure you have parental permission for photos and filming. Contact us at beepbeep@brake.org.uk if you need more advice getting media along.

Easy peasy isn't it? For your free organiser's pack,register now.

Helen Goodman, MP for Bishop Auckland, August/September 2007

aug-sept07Helen Goodman, MP for Bishop Auckland

During Parliament’s summer recess, Helen Goodman MP has been working with local parents to campaign for road safety measures to protect children in a local village in her constituency. She has also joined parents, pupils and teachers to campaign against cuts to Durham County Council’s budget for post-16 school transport, which could encourage more young drivers to take to the road.

Helen has been campaigning with her constituents in Evenwood Gate, Bishop Auckland, who are calling for a 40mph speed limit throughout the village. The current speed limit is 60mph on some roads through the village, which Helen and the village residents consider far too fast. Helen has written to Durham County Council and local police to make them aware of the problem and has urged the council to reduce the limit in order to protect children within the village and prevent crashes.

Helen has also written to the local authority and police to voice her constituents’ concerns about the road outside Cockfield Primary School in Evenwood Gate. After visiting the village to see the road for herself, Helen is throwing her support behind local parents’ demands for a pedestrian crossing outside the school.

Helen is making sure that local media, including the Teesdale Mercury, is following the campaign to improve road safety in Evenwood Gate, of her campaign, and raising awareness about road safety issues. More information on Helen’s campaign to improve safety in Evenwood gate is available on her website.

Helen has also joined parents, pupils and teachers in condemning Durham County Council’s proposed cuts of £300,000 to the local post-16 school transport budget, which could force families to pay up to £100 per pupil per term for local transport.

Helen is concerned that these cuts could encourage greater numbers of young people to learn to drive as soon as they turn 17, putting more of them behind the wheel at the age when they are most likely to crash. She has written a strongly worded letter to the council in opposition of the cuts.

RSWorange_07_logo

Road Safety Week 2007 will focus on the safety of children on foot and bicycles. To find our more about the Week, go to www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk. Any Parliamentarians wanting to get involved in Road Safety Week should call Rachel Burr on 01484 559909 or email rburr@brake.org.uk.

Zak_Hotline

Brake’s Zak the Zebra hotline collects information about dangerous roads across the UK, like the roads in Evenwood Gate. Brake uses this information to lobby for safer roads - in particular, roads around schools and in residential areas where children are likely to be out and about. Anyone can report a dangerous road and it may be possible for Zak to visit your community to help with a road safety campaign.

Infant and primary schools

If you would like to receive information about other opportunities and events please sign up at our preference centre.

School sign

Using roads is part of children's daily lives so they often have a lot to say about it if encouraged. Traffic is one of the biggest causes of death and serious injury among kids, and danger from traffic has a big impact on families' ability to live healthy, active life-styles. Road safety is therefore a brilliant topic for infant and primary schools, to help you meet a range of curriculum goals, have a positive impact on the local community, and save lives.

There are many stimulating ways to address the subject; one of the best ways is giving children ownership of it by getting them campaigning for road safety through creative projects. Children can be powerful advocates for road safety, helping parents and the wider community to be safer, and calling on drivers to protect children, as well as learning about road safety themselves. Children can also help fundraise for Brake and our services for people bereaved and injured on roads.

Follow the links below to get teaching and campaigning!

Brake's Giant Walk for schools
Our giant annual event for primary schools: kids march from the school gates, saying yes to walking and no to people driving fast in your community.

Road Safety Week
The UK's biggest road safety event, coordinated by Brake each November, is an ideal time to teach road safety, campaign for safer streets and fundraise for Brake. Register for an email action pack to help you.

Beep Beep! Day
A fun road safety day for 2-7 year-olds, to teach young children the road safety basics and raise awareness among parents.

Teaching resources
Our online guide to teaching road safety year-round, including lesson ideas, assembly plans, colour-in posters and advice on safe school trips.

Bright Days
Bright Days are a great fundraiser that you can run in Brake focussing on being bright, being smart and following the Brake pledge. This event can involve teaching goals focussing on any of the six aspects of the Brake pledge.

Community campaign kit
Advice on campaigning for safer streets in your local area. 

Seminars on supporting bereaved children
Acclaimed annual seminars on working with and supporting children and young people who are suddenly bereaved, run by Brake's Sudden initiative

 

Key stage 1 lesson script

Road safety assembly or lesson for 3-7 year olds (foundation to end of key stage one) (10 – 20 minutes, depending on available time)

Props – wear a high visibility coat or vest. Buy through the Brake web shop (very cheap). Also take a sturdy toy truck that rolls in a straight line, and a torch.

"Today we’re going to talk about road safety.

I’m going to start by telling you something really sad. Every day children are very badly hurt by traffic on roads in this country while those children are walking or on bikes. We’ve all fallen down and hurt our knees haven’t we? Children who are hurt on our roads are much more badly hurt than that. Some are so badly hurt that they don’t get better or even die.

I’m now going to tell you something really good. We can all learn really easy things to keep us safer near roads and we’re going to do this in this lesson, so we can stay safe.

Can anyone tell me some kinds of traffic?

(Car/ Bus / Truck / Fire engine / Motorbike etc.)

Can anyone do the NOISES that this traffic makes?

(Children make traffic noises)

That’s one of the useful things about traffic. You can sometimes use your EARS to hear it coming.

Traffic isn’t just noisy, it’s also FAST. This means it comes quickly. Does anyone know why traffic can move so fast, faster than you on legs?

(Wheels)

Let’s do an experiment, to see if wheels are faster than legs

(Child chosen to then walk sensibly across the hall holding hands with you, while a solid, toy truck (use a big one that goes in a straight line) is rolled across the hall at the same time – the truck will move much faster.)

Traffic is also HARD. Prod your tummy. Is it soft or hard?

(Soft)

This is why traffic can hurt you. You are soft and traffic is hard.

We’ve found out that traffic is NOISY, FAST AND HARD AND CAN HURT US. So let’s all clap our hands for learning these important lessons

(Children clap)

Hands are good for clapping. What else can we use hands for to keep us safe on roads?

(Holding hands)

What other bits of our body can we use to keep us safe on roads (pointing to eyes and ears)

(Eyes and ears)

That’s right, we have to look for traffic, and we have to listen for traffic. Sometimes we have to look very carefully and listen very carefully because traffic might be far away or round a corner, but we know it might get to us fast.

I know a rhyme that we can learn today. Are you ready? Listen carefully so you can copy me when I say it again.

I STOP before I cross the street,

I use my EYES and my EARS before my FEET.

(holding up hand to indicate ‘stop’ then pointing to eyes, ears and then feet)

(Repeat with the children.)

I think it’s time for another experiment.

What do you think is special about my jacket?

(Bright, light)

It’s called a high visibility vest, and it’s so useful that the police and fire officers wear them so they can be seen really well.

High visibility vests can be seen by the headlights on traffic when it’s dark, so drivers know you are there and can slow down. It’s good to wear one, particularly when you are walking home from school or are out and about in the autumn or winter. Let’s see if it works. We’re going to switch off the lights and draw the curtains just for one minute and see if we can see my jacket with a torch. Who wants to help?

(Child shines torch on jacket)

So always wear something bright at night and ask your mummy or daddy to buy you a high visibility vest and to wear one too.

Now we’re going to play my thumbs up, thumbs down game. If you think that I am saying something sensible and safe, stick your thumb up. If you think I am saying something daft and dangerous, stick your thumb down.

My balloon has gone into the road and I am going to run after it

I want to cross the road and there is a green man showing.

I want to cross the road but there is a red man showing.

My best friend is further up the road but they haven’t seen me, so I want to run ahead of my mum to catch them up.

I’m going to play in the park away from roads

I’m in the car but I think we are going to be late for a party. I tell my dad to drive faster.

(Children stick thumbs up and down. Use as the basis of discussion. Why are these things safe or dangerous? What do the children think?)

I think we’ve all done very well there and thought very hard about how to stay safe. Let’s give ourselves another round of applause.

(clapping)

OK, so we’ve learnt that traffic is DANGEROUS, and we must HOLD HANDS with a grown up, stay away from roads and STOP, LOOK AND LISTEN before crossing roads.  And we’ve also learnt to tell grown ups to SLOW DOWN if they are driving, to keep children safe.

Let’s see if we have remembered our rhyme

I STOP before I cross the street.

I use my EYES and my EARS before my FEET!

Well done everybody."

Key stage 2 lesson ideas

Most children in this age range have a better understanding of death and injury than you may think. With sensitivity, it’s important to develop children’s knowledge and engagement with the concepts of hazards (things that are dangerous); risk-taking (things you do that expose you to danger); and the consequences of risk-taking (death and injury).

The ideas below are designed to precede practical roadside training and activities to improve road safety around your school as part of your School Travel Plan. Read and implement these ideas alongside the ideas and resources available from other agencies, such as the Think! education site for teachers and pupils.

Hands-up survey for pupils
You can use a hands-up survey such as this one we conducted for Road Safety Week in 2012 to help you run a road safety lesson, using the discussion points on the survey and the results you get. You can also plan to do it annually and log the results you get to help you track the effectiveness of your school travel plan.

Run a lesson using the discussion points below:

  • Let’s start with the basics. Who can tell me how to cross a road safely?
  • Do we actually do this? Has anyone run across a road, crossed somewhere dangerous, or even been pushed into the road by someone else? Let’s share our stories. Why did you do it? (Answers are likely to include in a rush, had to get over the road, not thinking or because it was exciting.) How did it make you feel?
  • What happens to children on foot and bicycles who are hit by a car or even bigger vehicle, such as a lorry? (Answers are likely to include death, and various injuries.) If someone is very seriously injured, how could it affect their life (eg. may mean they have to use a wheel chair and can never walk again)? If you could never walk again how would it affect your life? (Answers likely to include couldn’t play football, couldn’t dance.)
  • How do drivers break the rules and endanger life? (Answers are likely to include they drive too fast, they run over people, but may also include they drink alcohol ,and drive or other rule-breaking.)
  • If you are trying to cross the road, and you see a car far away, can you tell how quickly it will get to where you are standing? No, because it might be breaking speed limits.
  • What would happen to you if you were hit at 20mph? 30mph? 40mph? If a car hits someone at 20mph, that person will almost definitely live. But if a car hits someone at 40mph, that person will almost definitely die. So the faster traffic is, the more dangerous.
  • Does anyone know the speed limit outside our school? Do we think drivers stick to that limit? Can anyone tell me any of the signs or road markings outside our school that remind drivers the school is here, and they should drive carefully?
  • We are going to spend some time helping parents and other drivers to understand the importance of driving slowly around our school. Has anyone got ideas about how we could do that? (Answers are likely to include posters, letters to parents, talking to our parents).

Write or read stories and write and perform plays
Write a story or play script about someone being hurt in a crash. What happened? Why? Alternatively, there are numerous theatre in education companies who can perform in your school. Sometimes, this can be funded by your local council. Contact your local council and ask to speak to the road safety officer to find out local providers and any costs. Read Jacqueline Wilson’s wonderful book Vicky Angel in instalments. It’s about a girl who sees her best friend killed on the road. Talk about the messages in the book. Or read The Lollipop Man by Philip Sheppard, about the ‘superhero of the highway’. Go to www.lollipopman.co.uk for info.

Be ambassadors for road safety!
Get children to write poems or songs on road safety for Key Stage 1 children, to help teach the younger children basic road safety lessons. Get the older children to perform them in front of the younger children. By doing this, you will be helping the older children reaffirm the importance of the messages. Use this as an opportunity to tell the older children to look out for younger children. Do you have a younger sister or brother? It’s really important for your parents or you to always hold their hand, keep them away from roads, and help teach them how to cross safely. In Scotland, an official Junior Road Safety Officer scheme has been set up. In primary schools, two 10-year-old children are appointed to help their local authority road safety officer to educate other children about the importance of road safety. Even if you aren’t in Scotland, you can still adopt this idea of having road safety prefects. Find more information.

Getting messages across to parents
Write, paint, draw, or design on a computer road safety adverts for parents about the importance of driving slowly and safely when kids are about. Make a road safety display in your reception area for parents using these adverts.

Study road safety in maths and science
How many people die and are hurt on roads? In numeracy, you could work out how many classrooms are killed and injured each year. How many children are killed or injured every minute? You can find statistics that relate to the theme of Road Safety Week at www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk page or other facts and figures on different road safety topics, including the maths of speed, on ‘the facts’ page of the Brake website.

Key stage 3 lesson ideas

Use the below ideas to get you started. You can also use Think!'s website, which has a range of resources, including videos and ideas for planning lessons. Teachers in Scotland can use Road Safety Scotland's teaching resources.

Before teaching road safety, remember to check whether any children have been bereaved by a road crash, and be sensitive to their feelings. They may wish to be excluded from road safety lessons that are about death or injury.

Pupils with learning difficulties should be given particular attention, to ensure they understand the rules of the road when on foot, and are able to put these rules into practice. A guide to teaching road safety on pupils with special education needs is available here.

Study statistics on deaths and injuries on roads. You could explore statistics surrounding road safety topics. Find visually engaging and significant ways to display them (eg. pie charts and bar graphs - you can find some examples in these research reports into driver safety). Make a display for other pupils to look at.

Hold a discussion about the benefits of walking and cycling for health, and the hazards this exposes you to. Explore why people on foot and bicycles are more at risk of being killed or injured than people in vehicles because of their greater vulnerability.

Explore areas in which pupils feel they need to extend their knowledge of road safety - e.g. bicycle maintenance. You could devise a quiz to test their knowledge.

Devise and carry out a survey of the risks that people take on roads and their motives for doing so. Focus on surveying a particular ‘group’ such as fellow pupils who cycle, parents who drive to school, or older pupils who drive or are considering driving. For example,a survey of 17 year-olds’ attitudes to speed limits.

If pupils dangerously cross the road near your school, you could video their behaviour and show the video in class. What are pupils doing wrong? Explore how to change their behaviour.

Explore the aftermath of crashes. Ask pupils to write a fictional newspaper article about a crash caused by a young driver which caused a death and serious injuries, including interviews with a police officer who attended the scene, and a bereaved family member. To help pupils understand the severity of injuries in road crashes, you could consider inviting a local A&E nurse or surgeon to talk to pupils about life-changing injuries such as brain damage and paralysis (some children may think that injuries are always minor or recoverable, and are a good way of getting attention in the playground, or getting off playing sport eg. a broken arm). You could use articles from Brake’s online media centre, including some on road crashes.

Study momentum. Why does it take vehicles longer to brake and stop if they are going at faster speed or are heavier? At 35mph in a car, you are twice as likely to kill someone you hit compared with at 30mph. You will find a chart of stopping distances at different speeds here.

Study scientific improvements in road safety, such as seat belts, air bags, protective clothing and helmets for motorbike riders, reflective and fluorescent materials. Devise science tests to demonstrate the effectiveness of such improvements, such as how reflective material glows in the dark when a light is shone on it. Stress that scientific improvements can’t ensure security from death or injury unless they are used by people who behave safely.

Survey local roads for hazards (e.g. speeding traffic - your local police force may lend you a radar gun to check the speed of traffic) and for road safety measures (e.g. crossings and lower speed limits). Show these hazards and road safety measures on a map, or take photos or videos. Create a display for other pupils and parents.

Create a poster or website about a road safety issue, such as the importance of concentrating when crossing the road, for example, by making sure you aren’t using your mobile phone or game boy or reading at the same time.

Write and perform a play that explores the temptations and pressures for to take risks on roads, and the possible consequences. For example, being in a hurry, or being with friends who want to mess about on the road with a football, or being with older friends who want you to get in a car with a dangerous driver who speeds. Discuss the emotions pupils feel in these situations and how to ‘speak up’ for the safe option.

Watch road safety TV and cinema adverts and look at road safety poster campaigns. Are they effective? Do they get the message across to you? If not, could you do any better? Government road safety adverts are available to watch online.

Key stage 4 lesson ideas

Use the below ideas to get you started. You can also use the Think! website, which has a range of resources, including videos and ideas for planning lessons. Teachers in Scotland can use Road Safety Scotland's teaching resources. See also the section on lesson ideas for 11-14 year olds for ideas that may be adapted to suit an older age range.

Get trained to deliver Brake's interactive 2young2die workshops and campaign activities to pupils and get groups of pupils entering our 2young2die awards scheme. Find out more

Analyse the benefits and disadvantages of different modes of road transport, ranging from walking to cycling, from cars to buses. Explore issues such as deaths and injuries, pollution, congestion, noise, health, and the well-being of communities. You can find statistics on walking and cycling on our facts pages. Find information on the importance of sustainable transport on Sustrans website, www.sustrans.org.uk.

Explore in-depth a set of statistics relating to road casualties, over a period of years. Look for increases or decreases and explore the possible reasons for these. For example, look at increases in drink driving casualties over the past decade, or the large number of deaths on roads of motorbikers, or the large number of young drivers who get hurt compared with older drivers. You can use information on facts page of Brake’s website, or for detailed statistics, download the Government’s annaul report on road casualties, Road Casualties Great Britain.

Using the above statistics, explore the risks of dying on roads using different modes of transport. For example, on average, everyone stands a one in 200 chance of dying on the road. Do people know the risks are this high? Would they take more care if they did? The risks of dying on a train or in an aeroplane are significantly lower. Discuss people’s perceptions and fears of risk on different modes of transport. Discuss people’s perceptions and fears of being killed in a road crash compared with being attacked or murdered. Five times as many people are killed on roads compared with people murdered.

Explore reasons for reductions in casualties and how many of these reductions may not be to do with people behaving safer ?” for example, crash protection measures in vehicles, better road design, less people cycling and walking. The government is trying to encourage people to walk and cycle more for health reasons. Consider how this should be done, while also ensuring people’s safety when on foot or on a bike.

What can be done to improve behaviour of road users? Pick topics that will have direct relevance to young people ?” for example, the importance of wearing protective clothing as well as a helmet on a motorbike. Should there be an advertising campaign? A new law? You could choose the contemporary topic of drugged driving. What are the dangers of drugged driving? How do we stop it?

Have a debate on a contentious road safety topic. Do some original research using the internet before the debate, in groups. Have a vote at the end of the debate.

There is a saying among road safety professionals that ‘the safest car is the one with a spike sticking out of the steering wheel’. Think about that saying. Why might they say that?

Carry out an in-depth survey of local roads and suggest road safety improvements (eg. road markings, a speed camera, crossings, regular police patrols). Your council’s safety engineer may be able to give you information about guidelines on implementing road improvements. As part of your survey, write and carry out a questionnaire for local people about their perceptions of local roads and if they think anything needs improving. Use our community campaign page for information on working with local officials to achieve road safety engineering measures.

Explore ‘Home Zones’ which are speed-controlled neighbourhoods where pedestrians have priority above cars or ‘woonerfen’ in the Netherlands which are similar. What are the design features of a Home Zone? How do Home Zones make the residents feel about their neighbourhood? Contact your road safety officer to find out if there is a Home Zone near you, and arrange a visit, and arrange to interview some residents there. 

Use road safety as the theme for a creative project, such as designing a website, producing a video, producing a play, or running a media campaign for local people. Run this project over a term and ensure it has quantifiable outcomes - e.g. monitor the number of hits on the website, or the number of ‘column centimetres’ obtained in local newspapers about your campaign.

Explore the impact of road crashes on the NHS. Explore the types of injuries and their treatment. Explore the enormous costs involved in treating and rehabilitating victims. Explore the costs involved when a ‘bread winner’ is killed. Who pays for food? Child care? The mortgage? Study newspaper articles about road crashes and consider the possible consequences in those cases.

More than a third of crashes involves a vehicle being driven for work. Pupils could pretend they are a health and safety officer for a company with a fleet of trucks, vans and company cars. What policies could they implement to reduce the chances of crashes involving their vehicles? For example, banning the use of all types of mobile phone while driving, setting reasonable schedules so drivers don’t speed between appointments or drive when they are tired, ensuring all vehicles are maintained to the standards recommended by the manufacturer.

Road safety for pupils with Special Educational Needs

It is crucial to ensure that road safety education and training is appropriate and effective for all pupils, including those with special educational needs (SEN).

This guide is focused on teaching safe walking and cycling to children under 16 with SEN who are included in mainstream education and taught alongside pupils who do not have SEN. However, it can be adapted by special schools and special inclusive learning centres. It focuses mainly on working with children with any of these four learning difficulties and disabilities: Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD); Dyspraxia (or Developmental Co-ordination Disorder); and Dyslexia.

This guide should be read alongside Brake’s general guide to teaching road safety.

Dangers of roads for pupils with SEN

Devising road safety lessons and activities for pupils with SEN

Organising practical roadside training for pupils with SEN

Developing a School Travel Plan that considers the needs of pupils with SEN

Links to additional resources for teaching road safety to pupils with SEN

General information on teaching children with SEN, including the Government’s SEN Code of Practice and SEN Teaching Toolkit, can be found at www.education.gov.uk

Secondary schools urged to run 2young2Die campaigns in Road Safety Week

Brake, the road safety charity

15 August 2012
Tel: 01484 559909 Email: news@brake.org.uk

Secondary school teachers are being encouraged to inspire and support young people to run 2young2die campaigns during Road Safety Week (19-25 November), the UK's flagship road safety event coordinated by the charity Brake. It's a chance to get teenagers actively engaged with road safety, highlighting the dangers of risky behaviour and importance of safe walking and cycling, using free resources and as part of a UK-wide initiative.

Brake's theme for Road Safety Week 2012 is 'Slower speeds = happy people'. Brake will be promoting the importance of making it safer for everyone to walk and cycle, without fear from fast traffic, for health and enjoyment. Brake will be calling for local authorities to make our roads safer and appealing to drivers to slow down to 20mph in communities. Read more. Secondary schools can tie in with this theme by helping young people develop their own slow down campaigns, or focus on any other road safety topic.

Road Safety Week is about thousands of schools, communities and organisations taking action on road safety, and there are lots of simple ways to get involved. Anyone can register now to get a free e-action pack with resources, guidance and ideas at www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk.

Brake is particularly calling on secondary schools to coordinate:

• Young person-led road safety campaigns, particularly focusing on the importance of slowing down to protect people on foot and bike, which can be entered into Brake's national 2young2die awards, sponsored by ikube ®.

Bright Days: a dress down day with a difference that promotes the importance of drivers looking out for people on foot and bicycle, and the 'be bright be seen' message; a national initiative by Brake and Autoglass ®. Bright Day organisers get a free pack of resources.

Both activities enable schools to raise awareness and funds to support Brake's work campaigning for safer roads and supporting bereaved and injured crash victims.

Brake deputy chief executive Julie Townsend says: "Road Safety Week is a great chance for schools to engage young people in road safety, to help them understand how they can keep themselves and others safe, and raise awareness in the wider community – and our 2young2die and Bright Days initiatives are brilliant ways to get involved. Road crashes are the biggest killer of young people, and road danger is a major barrier to children and young people being able to live active lifestyles. So this is a critical issue for schools to tackle, to help prevent needless casualties and make streets safer for walking and cycling.

"During Road Safety Week, Brake will be appealing to drivers to slow down to 20mph in communities and look out for people on foot and bicycle. We're calling on schools everywhere to join this vital campaign: register now on the Road Safety Week website to get free resources and inspiration."

Autoglass® managing director Matthew Mycock says: "It is paramount that children learn road safety guidelines from a young age to help to keep them safe. That is why we firmly support Brake's Road Safety Week initiative. The dedicated week provides a great platform to help get schools involved and ensure the dangers posed by irresponsible driving as well as from poorly informed children are given firm focus so improvements can be made.

As part of the initiative, we are proud to continue our support for Bright Days, which provide a fun way for schools to send a serious road safety message to children in keeping themselves visible to drivers especially during the darker winter nights."

Go to www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk then educators for more ideas and to register. Or sign up for a Bright Day on 01484 559909 or bright@brake.org.uk.

Brake

Brake is an independent road safety charity. Brake exists to stop the five deaths and 66 serious injuries that happen on UK roads every day and to care for families bereaved and seriously injured in road crashes. Brake runs awareness-raising campaigns, community education programmes, events such as Road Safety Week (19-25 November 2012), and a Fleet Safety Forum, providing advice to companies. Brake's support division cares for road crash victims through a helpline and other services.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are man-made, preventable, violent events that devastate lives. Brake does not use the term accidents because it undermines work to reduce road risk and causes insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by road death or injury.

Autoglass

Autoglass® is the UK's leading vehicle glass repair and replacement service, with 101 branches nationwide and 1,300 mobile service units. For details of your nearest centre call 0800 36 36 36 or visit www.Autoglass.co.uk.

Ikube

iKube is an insurance product offered through Motaquote in conjunction with a number of insurance providers.

Established in 1991, Motaquote specialises in a wide range of personal and commercial lines insurance. Headquartered in Williamstown, South Wales it is part of nationwide group, Cullum Capital Ventures (CCV).Cullum Capital Ventures (CCV), part of the Towergate Group, is one of the UK's largest independently owned insurance intermediaries with more than 800 staff. Headquartered in Maidstone, it offers a wide range of general insurance products nationwide. For regional brokers looking to sell their business, CCV can provide flexible full or partial ownership solutions. Businesses can continue to trade under their own brand, while CCV is committed to providing full support across all management functions.

 

Sign up for our educators' bulletin

Schools, nurseries and colleges can make an enormous difference to the safety and wellbeing of children and young people by teaching, promoting and campaigning for road safety - and Brake can help. There are lots of ways we can support you make a difference, through our national events, schemes and resources.

A great way to keep up to date with our work and how you can get involved is to sign up for our FREE termly educators' e-bulletin, packed with road safety updates for you.

If you would like to receive information about other opportunities and events please sign up at our preference centre.

You can also read about our Beep Beep! Day for tots and infants, Brake's Kids Walk for primary schools, and Road Safety Week for everyone! Plus check out our online guides to teachingand campaigningon road safety.

Teaching road safety: guide for educators

schoolsign

Road safety is a great subject in which to engage children and young people. It's a subject even the youngest children know something about because everyone uses roads, and road danger impacts on everyone. It’s also a vitally important subject.

Road crashes are a major cause of death and injury among the young, with the risk rising as children reach secondary school age and have more independence, and young drivers and passengers facing significant risks. Danger from traffic is also a big factor in whether children and young people are able to walk and cycle to school, to the park or to see friends, and therefore their ability to be healthy and socially active.

Below are some guidelines on teaching road safety for children and young people in age groups from age 2 to 18, and some ideas for lessons and activities, including some that can be run in assemblies or citizenship lessons, and some that can be incorporated into subjects like Maths, Science, Drama and English.

For free resources to help you run an event, visit our Beep Beep! Day and Brake's Kids Walk pages.

Expand the menu below to browse our road safety teaching advice and ideas for different age groups, and go to our educational resources page to download posters, videos and other resources you can use to help make road safety an interesting and engaging topic.

   -   Before you start

   -   What to teach: age-appropriate messages

   -   Early years: age 2-5 teaching ideas

   -   Key Stage 1: age 5-7 teaching ideas

   -   Key Stage 2: age 7-11 teaching ideas

   -   Key Stage 3: age 11-14 teaching ideas

   -   Key Stage 4 and beyond: age 14-18 teaching ideas

   -   Children with special educational needs (SEN)

   -   Road safety policies and safe school trips

   -   Practical pedestrian and cycling training

   -   Campaigning for safer streets in your community

   -   Brake events for educators

If you would like to receive information about other opportunities and events please sign up at our preference centre.

Find out about other ways schools can promote road safety.

This guide to teaching road safety was created with support from the Department for Transport.

Before you start

Sensitivity issues

Before teaching road safety, check if any children have been bereaved by, hurt in, or witnessed a serious road crash, and be sensitive to their needs. Talk to them and their carers about whether they wish to be excluded from lessons or activities that discuss death or injury. (If your school or any students experience a bereavement in a road crash, you can see Brake's reports on child bereavement and order our child bereavement support literature to help you support them.)

Getting outside help

Bear in mind that classroom teaching is more effective if combined with practical experiences and campaigning. So if you can build in these three components it will have greater impact:

   -   classroom teaching
   -   roadside experiences and training (which must be delivered safely) 
   -   getting the children campaigning for road safety

You can get advice on all three of these elements in this guide, but to successfully deliver on them, especially practical training, you may need or benefit from outside help. For example, road safety officers from local authorities can visit schools to run practical pedestrian and cycling training for children. You may also be able to work with emergency services to help you teach road safety in an exciting way, and convey why road safety is important, such as by giving talks in assemblies, or helping to supervise and deliver practical experience-based lessons or discussions.

You might also be able to get help from a local company who could provide funding to aid your road safety work, or volunteers to help supervise, or help you promote a campaign led by the children (for example by providing space to display banners and posters).

You can also make use of Brake’s road safety events and programmes for schools to help you bring road safety to life, and link your teaching with a national programme. Many of these include free resource packs and guidelines to help you get involved. In particular, Road Safety Week is the UK’s biggest road safety event, organised by Brake every November, and a time when thousands of educators, local authorities, emergency services and employers work to promote road safety. Register for a free e-action pack.

Getting everyone on board

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You may need to persuade others within your school, nursery or college, such as other teachers, the head or board, about the importance of road safety before you start teaching and promoting it. Here are a few key points you can make to help persuade others: 

  • Every death or serious injury of a child on roads is devastating for the family, the wider community, and the pre-school, school or college – and every one is preventable. No child should lose their life or suffer a horrendous injury on roads.
  • Poor road safety not only means children are in danger of being hurt or killed, it also often affects their health and wellbeing. Children are increasingly being driven to school, and are less likely to regularly walk and cycle, contributing to inactivity, obesity and affecting social development. If streets are unsafe, parents are less willing to let their children walk or cycle.
  • Educators can play a vital role in protecting children and stopping devastating casualties by teaching life-saving messages to pupils, and promoting road safety more widely such as to parents and drivers in the area.
  • Schools and colleges can lead the way in making local roads safer, especially enabling children and families to walk and cycle safely. You are at the heart of a community and therefore well placed to work with authorities to help achieve improvements to local roads to make them safer for children and adults, such as through paths, crossings, lower speed limits and better law enforcement. (Read our guide on campaigning.)
  • Road safety can help you meet teaching requirements and demonstrate to people in the area that you are a school that cares about pupils’ safety and wellbeing.
  • Road safety is not just a subject for younger children. The older children get, the more at risk they become, as they gain independence. This includes when they are on foot or bicycle, and when they may start to drive or be passengers with other young drivers. Crashes involving young drivers are a big problem, causing one in five serious road casualties, so improving awareness of the risks on roads is crucial for teenagers too.

Getting parents on board

Getting parents on board with your road safety messages is vitally important, given their responsibilities for protecting children, especially at a younger age, and as children are likely to copy their parents’ behaviour, including any bad habits. It’s therefore a good idea when planning road safety teaching to consider how you can reach out to parents at the same time.

Encouraging parents to behave safely on roads, as drivers, pedestrians and cyclists, and to display positive attitudes towards road safety, will help make sure what you are teaching in the classroom is being positively reinforced at home. Engaging parents with road safety messages can also of course make roads around the school safer by encouraging them to slow down and park safely, or to leave the car at home and walk or cycle to school if there are safe routes.

Some of the activity and teaching ideas below incorporate ways to engage parents, but whatever you’re planning you could:

  • Include something in your newsletter, website or on social media, and/or send out letters, informing them of what you will be teaching the children and suggesting ways they can reinforce the messages at home and lead by example;
  • Encourage parents to sign the Brake Pledge, a six point pledge covering key road safety topics;
  • Direct parents to brake.org.uk/families, Brake’s road safety advice for families, and directly communicate the key messages;
  • Display posters in your reception area promoting road safety activities you’re running and road safety messages. These could be posters from Brake, or designed by the children;
  • Invite them to attend a demonstration or workshop. This could be of a creative project by the children, such as a screening of a video they have made or performance of a play, or by an external partner, such as emergency service professionals.

For more advice on getting parents on board, see THINK!’s advice for involving parents of children.

Organising resources and materialsedupic03

There are plenty of resources available from Brake and our partners, including THINK!. We recommend that you utilise a range of interactive, visual and practical resources to make road safety an interesting and engaging subject.

You can explore Brake’s teaching tools and resources, and the low-cost resources available in the Brake shop, or if you’re working with older students, make use of tools in our young people and road safety road safety road safety section. Or you can register for one of our events such as a Beep Beep! Day, or Brake's Kids Walk, and receive a free resource pack.

THINK! also has dedicated primary and secondary education websites, offering more teaching activities and worksheets. You can also use THINK!’s lesson packs for early years, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, and Key Stage 3.

Using the right language

Think carefully about what language to use when teaching road safety to communicate its importance in a powerful, memorable and sensitive manner. Brake strongly recommends avoiding the term “road accidents” to describe crashes, deaths and injuries. Road crashes are preventable tragedies – “accident” implies they are inevitable (undermining messages about steps people can take to prevent them) and understates the devastation they can cause.

Be completely open and honest about the seriousness of road safety with children, and of the tragic consequences of road crashes and casualties, particularly with older students. Don’t shy away from referring to the deaths and injuries that regularly occur on our roads, and the impact these have. See our advice on ‘what to teach’ for further guidance.

Take care not to glamorise driving, and don’t make assumptions about your students’ circumstances in regards to being driven or learning to drive. Some may come from families that do not have a car, and some may have no interest in driving. Make it clear that there are sustainable and active alternatives to car use, which are good for you and the planet. Bear in mind that driving is a high-risk activity for young people in particular, and if people learn to drive in their teens they are far more likely to be in a serious crash. Steering young people away from driving is one of the most important road safety and environmental messages you can convey.

You should also bear in mind a child’s experience of traffic in an urban location will greatly differ from that of a child in a rural location, so adapt your messaging and activities to suit your class profile.

                              What to teach: age-appropriate messages

Brake recommends you aim to cover the road safety ABC, adapted for the age group you’re working with, as set out below:

A is for awareness (traffic is dangerous and can hurt people)
B is for behaviour (things you should do to stay safer)
C is for choice and campaigning (how to make safer choices and to help others make these choices too)

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Under 8’s can be taught A and B from the age of two upwards. They can be taught rules and encouraged to follow them through practical training. However, under 8’s should not use roads without an adult, and adults should follow the Green Cross Code (see below) at all times when on foot with their children. Adults should, at all times, hold children’s hands or use reins with younger children because under 8’s:

  • have difficulty judging speed and distance; - are easily distracted and act on impulse;
  • have difficulty understanding danger and death and are oriented around play;
  • are small (so can’t see hazards) and are still developing eyesight and hearing;
  • are carefree, not careless;
  • should not be allowed to walk near roads on their own for these reasons.

Over 8’s will have more ability to understand C, and make their own choices based on different options and assessment of risk. However, they need to have A and B re-emphasised to them because over 8’s:

  • may walk on their own but make mistakes that can cost their lives because of lack of experience;
  • are vulnerable to peer pressure from other children to make risky choices, such as running across a road.

The following sections list teaching topics within the road safety ABC.

A is for awareness: traffic is dangerous and hurts people

You can teach, with increasing frankness as children get older, that:

  • Traffic hurts tens of thousands of people in the UK each year. Five people are killed in road crashes every day.
  • People hurt by traffic are often killed and seriously injured. Injuries include paralysis and losing limbs. (Note: many children may think minor injuries such as breaking an arm are okay or even fun – you may need to make clear how awful a serious injury is.)
  • Some people do dangerous things when walking or cycling, such as texting on their phone while crossing a road. These people are more likely to be killed or hurt.
  • Some drivers do dangerous things, which increase the chance of them killing or hurting themselves or someone else, for example, speeding, or using a phone at the wheel, or driving after drinking alcohol. We have laws such as speed limits to stop people being killed or hurt in crashes, but some drivers break them.

B is for behaviour: rules you can follow to stay safe

Children need to be taught the language of road safety before they can understand the rules. For example, names of vehicles, names of street furniture such as pavements and kerbs, and an understanding of fast, slow, looking, listening and crossing. Download Brake’s colour in work sheet with key words and street furniture. A well-educated child age five may already have a grasp of fundamental road safety rules thanks to their parents. But others may not. Therefore, you should begin with younger children by checking they all understand the following:

  • Paths and pavements are for people; roads are for traffic.
  • Never go out near roads without a grown up. Hold their hand and don’t let go.
  • Stop at once if you are told. Never try to cross a road until you are told.
  • Don’t run into the road or play on roads - play in a park or garden.
  • You can help grown-ups look and listen for traffic to cross safely.
  • Traffic lights and other crossings help people cross the road. When a red man appears, it means you must stop.
  • If you ride in a car, never undo your belt, play with door handles, or distract the driver.

By the age of five, children are ready to learn, in addition to the above:

  • The Green Cross Code (find a safe place to cross, stop, look, listen, cross with care, looking and listening all the time - see below)
  • The safest places to cross: underpasses; footbridges; where there is a crossing-patrol (lollipop) person; traffic light crossings; zebra crossings.
  • In a car, only get out on the pavement side.
  • In a bus or coach or minibus, wear your seat belt if there is one. When getting off, never cross the road in front or behind the bus. Wait until it has pulled away so you can see in all directions.

The Green Cross Code

  1. Find a safe place to cross
  2. Stop just before you get to the kerb
  3. Look all around for traffic and listen
  4. If traffic is coming, let it pass
  5. When it is safe, go straight across the road - do not run

Go to the THINK! website to read the full Green Cross Code with more detailed advice.

By the age of 9 and upwards, depending on development, children are ready to explore:

  • The impact of road crashes, injuries and deaths on families.
  • The responsibilities of drivers to protect other people, especially people who are on foot or bicycle.
  • The dangers of giving in to peer pressure to take risks.

Read more about teaching older students further down.

C is for choice: how to make the safest choices and help others stay safe too

Under-8’s are ill-equipped to make their own choices. However, it is important that older children recognise their ability to make safe choices, recognise pressures they may come under to make dangerous choices and learn how to resist those pressures, and how to speak up for the safety of others too.

Younger children can also be encouraged to think about choices, as long as they are not encouraged to make those choices on their own. All children can be encouraged to speak out against dangerous behaviour, such as children pushing each other into the road, or running across roads without looking, or drivers driving too fast, or people not doing up their seatbelts or not wearing helmets on mopeds or motorbikes.

What to teach to teens

Students aged 11-20 may initially think that road safety is for younger children, or boring. But most young people have a lot to say about road safety and won’t find it boring as long as it’s taught well. In fact, effective road safety teaching with these age ranges enables you to explore challenging and worth-while issues, including: 

  • Death and bereavement, and especially the impact of sudden, violent and ‘man-made’ bereavement, such as through road death, knife crime, war and terrorism
  • Life-changing injuries (such as paralysis and brain injury) and how this affects people and their families
  • Taking responsibility for others in the context of good citizenship - particularly if driving
  • Society’s obsession with motor vehicles, the effects this has on communities (safety, health, pollution, social interaction, costs), and the alternatives to driving
  • The differences in levels of risk-taking among males and females, and young drivers and older drivers
  • Alcohol and drugs – including alcohol and drug use among young people, and how this links with the issue of drink and drug driving

There are a number of reasons that students may not initially be receptive to road safety teaching. For example, they may:

  1. Think they ‘know it all’ and road safety is for ‘babies’
  2. Already be taking risks on roads (for example, mucking about on busy roads, driving without a licence or taking illegal drugs and driving)
  3. Feel invincible - road crashes happen to someone else, not them. They think their youth and fast reaction times will keep them out of trouble
  4. Have a misunderstanding of the true extent of deaths and injuries on roads and just how at risk they are as young people.

However, young people are likely to have witnessed risky behaviour on roads and grasp road safety issues easily as they deal with roads every day. They also may well have experienced, or heard of, someone in their community being hurt or killed in a road crash, and therefore understand that death and serious injury is a reality on roads.

Effective road safety teaching for this age range should:

  • Build on students’ existing knowledge and experiences, not preach
  • Require students to think for themselves and conduct original research
  • Be discussive and creative, and related to students’ real lives
  • Involve real-life projects (such as devising and running a campaign to get parents and students to ‘belt up’) not just class-room learning
  • Explore the dangers and consequences of risk-taking, and the benefits of making safe and sustainable choices
  • Explain clearly that road safety is about stopping deaths and serious injuries and therefore it is crucial to take it seriously – particularly as these students are in the highest risk group for dying or being seriously injured on roads.

                                Early years: age 2-5 teaching ideas

By running simple, fun, educational activities like those suggested below, you can help prevent deaths and injuries of children. The sooner you start, the better; we suggest teaching from the age of two. Teaching road safety is an active, fun and stimulating thing to do, and children love toy vehicles, fire engines, and bicycles, so they’re keen to learn more about them. The ideas below can also help you meet foundation stage learning requirements and aid development of children’s motor and creative skills, language skills, their understanding of the world around them, and their personal, social and emotional development.edupic07

See the section above on ‘what to teach’ for more advice before you get started and see our resources section for materials to help you. You can also make use of THINK!’s new early years web page, including their lesson plans for early years educators and links to the curriculum. If, for any of your activities, you plan on taking children off the premises, read THINK!’s advice on keeping the children safe.

If you work with 2-7 year olds, run a Beep Beep! Day: a fun, educational day of activities teaching children the road safety basics and helping you promote road safety to parents. Sign up to get a free resource pack.

Teach that traffic is dangerous:

1. Toy car Olympics

You: Arrange the children in a line across one end of a room or in the playground. Give each child a toy car. 

The children: In turn, send their car across the room. Which is fastest? Which goes furthest before it can stop? Which car is near? Which is far away?

2. Learn about wheels

Make play dough wheels, and roll them around. Pick up a toy car and spin its wheels. Wheels mean that traffic goes fast and can’t stop easily. It goes much faster than people who are walking. Traffic is dangerous.

3. Let’s look at a car!

Only do this activity if you can park a car somewhere away from traffic where the children can approach it safely. The car should be parked on a flat surface with the handbrake firmly on and engine off. 

You: Tell the children the importance of standing well away from cars, even when they look like they aren’t moving. Take each child up to the side of the car in turn, holding their hand.

The children: Poke the car then poke their tummy. Which is soft, which is hard? Cars are hard and can hurt you if they hit you. You are soft and easily hurt. Look at a wheel. Look at how big and hard it is. It goes round very fast.

Teach them cars and other vehicles aren’t toys. They’re dangerous. Teach them to stay away from traffic unless holding an adult’s hand.

Teach to always hold hands:

1. Create a giant road map

You: Make a giant map of roads, paths and pavements out of coloured paper stuck together. You could include features that you have in your local area, like crossings or a park.

The children: Help you cut out pictures of vehicles, people, dogs and buggies out of old magazines. Stick the pictures in the right place on your giant road. Vehicles on the road, people on the pavement and in the park.

You: Practise with the children key road safety words related to what’s in the picture. Can you see a …..? How many ……? What colour is the…..? Then stick your giant road on the wall as part of a road safety display. Make sure your display is somewhere parents will see it.

This activity could be delivered on an interactive white board if you have one, or using a tablet or computer for a small group, using basic image editing software such as Paint to create the map, and Powerpoint to add the interactivity.

2. Looking and listening skills

What can you hear? What can you see? What can you sing?

You: Record some road sounds, or find them online: car, fire engine, motorbike, bicycle bell, a pedestrian crossing beeping. Play these to the children, and show them a set of matching pictures.

The children: Sit in a circle and guess the noises when you play them, matching them to the pictures you show, and saying what makes what noise, for example, ‘The blue car goes brum brum brum, The big red fire engine goes nee nah nee nah….' etc.

3. Giant handprint displayedupic08

Create a giant poster of children’s hand prints and write ‘We hold hands’ at the top, and display it where parents and children can see it.

4. Colour in pictures

Older children with more developed motor skills can colour in the Brake photocopiable posters from our teaching resources page.

5. Draw or make a road safety car

Use a small box and cut out circles for children to stick to the side for wheels, or just draw a car on a piece of paper and let children colour it in. Write ‘slow down’ or ‘belt up’ on the side of the cars, or draw a 20mph road sign, and give them to the children to take home.

                              Key stage 1: age 5-7 teaching ideas

Under-8s shouldn’t use roads without an adult and can’t be expected to make their own choices when using roads. However, they can be taught rules and encouraged to follow them, and you can help develop their understanding of the dangers on roads and how to avoid them. This will help ensure that as they start to gain independence, road safety is already well engrained. You can explore road safety as part of subjects such as literacy, maths, and science (see lesson ideas below).

See the section above on ‘what to teach’ for more advice before you get started and see our resources section for materials to help you. You can also make use of THINK!’s early years and primary education web pages, including Key Stage 1 lesson plans and links to the curriculum.

Register for Brake's Kids Walk, our annual event for primary schools every June. Thousands of children put their best feet forward to promote road safety and the health and planet-saving benefits of walking.

Or if you can’t wait until June, run a Beep Beep! Day, to teach 2-7 year-olds the road safety basics through fun activities.

In literacy

Expand children’s road safety vocabulary to include words like pedestrian, zebra crossing, kerb, while talking about road safety.

This activity could be delivered using an interactive white board if you have one, or using a tablet or computer for a small group, by showing a picture of a street scene and asking the children to name different street features.

In science or numeracy

Measure your children’s height and weigh them. Then talk to them about how they are small, and traffic is big. Because they are small they find it difficult to see traffic. Because they are small they have to be in a special seat in their car. Photocopy our letter to send home to parents  and fill in the blanks with the children’s height and weight, then put it in children’s ‘book bags’ so they can talk about road safety with their parents when they get home.

Discuss scenarios together

Present scenarios using pictures, film clips or demonstrations on the playground or in the school hall and discuss them with the children. For example, ‘Ahmed’s ball is in the road because he threw it over the fence by accident. What should he do now?’ or ‘Where is a safe place to play? Let’s name some around here.’

edupic09Creative projects

Draw or paint posters of people on pavements holding hands and vehicles on roads. Discuss how holding hands keeps children safe. Write road safety slogans for the posters and display them where parents will see them.

Paint an ambulance

Ask the children to paint an ambulance in its bright colours. Discuss why it is painted brightly - so people can see it coming, when it’s travelling fast. Discuss, with appropriate sensitivity, how the ambulance could be carrying someone to hospital who has been hurt on the road. You can help make sure this isn’t you by staying away from the road.

Experiment with wheels

In a large room, send a large toy truck racing across the floor. Discuss how trucks go faster because they are on wheels. Wheels are fast, and traffic can go really fast – much faster than the faster person can run. A car or truck might look a long way away but it can get to you fast and hit you hard.

Do a seat belt experiment

Belt up a small teddy into a toy car using ribbon. Put another teddy in another toy car without a seat belt. Carry out experiments using slopes and obstacles to demonstrate that the teddy who doesn’t wear a seat belt can fall out and get hurt.

Sing a road safety song

Get the children to do actions in time to the song using the words stop, go, pavement and hold hands. You could invent new verses to ‘Wheels on the bus’ such as ‘The children and the grown ups all hold hands, all hold hands, all hold hands’.

Listen to some recordings of road noises

Play recordings of road noises, e.g. an ambulance, car, pedestrian crossing beeping. What are they? Can the children match them with pictures you hold up? Listen out for noises on roads; it can warn you that traffic is coming.

Bake for Brake!

Follow this traffic light biscuit recipe and use it to talk about the colours of traffic lights and what they mean. Red means stop, green means go - always wait till you see the green man at a pelican crossing.

                              Key Stage 2: age 7-11 teaching ideas

Most children in this age range have a better understanding of death and injury than you may think. With sensitivity, it’s important to develop children’s knowledge and engagement with the concepts of hazards (things that are dangerous), risk-taking (things you do that expose you to danger), and the consequences of risk-taking (death and injury).DSCF5450

See the section above on ‘what to teach’ for more advice before you get started and see our resources section for materials to help you. You can also make use of THINK!’s early years and primary education web pages, including their Key Stage 2 lesson plans, and links to the curriculum.

The teaching ideas below are best used in conjunction with practical pedestrian training and activities, which your local authority may be able to provide.

Register for Brake’s Giant Walk, our annual event for primary schools every June. It’s a giant march for road safety involving tens of thousands of children: a great way to teach children about safe walking and promote safe driving in your community.

Hands-up survey

Use a ‘hands-up survey’ to get the children thinking about road safety through a discussion-based lesson. You could then use the results to inform further road safety lessons and carry out wider road safety campaigns. Create your own survey, making sure each answer can be answered yes or no (so you get a show of hands for each and write down the number of hands put up), or use one of Brake’s sample surveys or whichever questions from it you think are most relevant for your students.

Run a discussion

You could use the questions below or download our sample whiteboard discussion slides for primary school classes. You could also show an appropriate road safety video or advert at the start, or use an online game, to help spark discussion – go to Brake’s educator resources page for videos.

  • Let’s start with the basics. Who can tell me how to cross a road safely? (See THINK!’s online game about crossing safely.)
  • Does everyone do this? Has anyone run across a road, crossed somewhere dangerous, or been pushed into the road by someone? Let’s share our stories. Why did you do it? (Answers are likely to include in a rush, had to get over the road, not thinking or because it was exciting.) How did it make you feel?
  • What happens to children on foot and bicycles who are hit by a car or a bigger vehicle, such as a lorry? (Answers likely to include death and various injuries.)
  • If someone is very seriously injured, how could it affect their life? (For example, it may mean they can never walk again and need to use a wheelchair.) If you could never walk again how would it affect your life? (Answers likely to include couldn’t play football, couldn’t dance.)
  • How do drivers sometimes break the rules and put people in danger? (Answers are likely to include driving too fast, being distracted, drink driving.)
  • If you are trying to cross the road, and you see a car far away, can you tell how quickly it will get to where you are standing? No, because it will depend how fast that driver is going, and they could be speeding.
  • Why is it safer if drivers slow down? How long does it take a vehicle to stop if they are driving at different speeds? (See Brake’s stopping distances activity – this could be delivered on an interactive whiteboard.)
  • Does anyone know the speed limit outside our school? Do we think drivers stick to that limit? Are there any signs or road markings that remind drivers the school is here, and they should drive carefully?
  • Has anyone got ideas about how we can encourage drivers to drive more safely in the area? What about persuading parents to drive more safely? (Answers are likely to include posters, adverts, letters to parents, talking to our parents.)

Write or read stories and write and perform plays

Write a story or play script about someone being hurt in a crash. What happened? Why? What choices did the characters make that led to the injury? What were the consequences of this?

Alternatively, there are numerous theatre in education companies who can perform in your school. Sometimes, this can be funded by your local council. Contact your local council and ask to speak to the road safety officer to find out local providers and any costs.

Be ambassadors for road safety

Get children to write poems or songs on road safety for Key Stage 1 children, to help teach the younger children basic road safety lessons. Get the older children to perform them in front of the younger children. By doing this, you will be helping the older children reaffirm the importance of the messages. Use this as an opportunity to tell the older children to look out for younger children. Do you have a younger sister or brother? It’s really important for your parents or you to always hold their hand, keep them away from roads, and help teach them how to cross safely.

Check to see if your local authority runs a Junior Road Safety Officer scheme. In primary schools, two 10-year-old children are appointed to help their local authority road safety officer to educate other children about the importance of road safety. Even if this scheme isn’t run in our area, you can still adopt this idea of having road safety prefects. Schools in Scotland can register for Road Safety Scotland’s Junior Road Safety Officer scheme and access resources on the JRSO website.

Getting messages across to parents

Write, paint, draw, film or design road safety adverts for parents about the importance of driving slowly and safely when kids are about. Make a road safety display in your reception area for parents using these adverts, or create online versions and share them through the school website, email newsletter, or social media. You could also invite parents to a special assembly and present your adverts.

edupic12Study road safety in maths and science

How many people die and are hurt on roads? In numeracy, you could work out how many classrooms are killed and injured each year using the government’s annual road casualty statistics. How many people are killed or injured every day? You also can find facts and figures on different road safety topics, including the maths of speed, on Brake’s fact pages.

 

 

Key Stage 3: age 11-14 teaching ideas

By the time children reach secondary school they are likely to be becoming much more independent as road users and, as such, are exposed to increased road risks. This means their ongoing road safety education is vital, especially given that road crashes are the biggest cause of deaths and serious injuries among young people.

See the section above on ‘what to teach’ for more advice before you get started and see our resources section for materials to help you. You can also make use of THINK!’s secondary education web pages, including Key Stage 3 lesson plans and links to the curriculum.

Use the resources in our young people and road safety section to help run interactive road safety workshops and campaigns.

Study statistics on deaths and injuries on roads

Explore statistics surrounding various road safety topics or use the government’s road casualty statistics. Find visually engaging and significant ways to display them (eg. pie charts and bar graphs). Make a display for other pupils to look at.

Explore the alternatives to cars

Hold a discussion about the benefits of walking and cycling for health, the environment and social interaction, alongside the barriers that sometimes prevent people from walking and cycling, and the hazards people on foot and bike may be exposed to. Explore what authorities and drivers can do to make walking and cycling safer and the importance of this. Explore what changes the students think are needed in your area to make walking and cycling safer and more appealing.

Road safety quizzes

Explore areas in which pupils feel they need to extend their knowledge of road safety - e.g. bicycle maintenance. You could devise a quiz to test their knowledge.

Survey your students

Get the students thinking about and discussing road safety, by surveying them on their experiences and attitudes towards road safety, as part of a discussion-based lesson. You could then use the results to spur further work, such as a science experiment or creative project (see suggestions below) based around a particular issue you identify. You could use one of Brake's surveys or devise your own.

Survey others

Get the students to devise and carry out a survey of the risks that other people take on roads and their motives and attitudes towards road safety. Focus on surveying a particular group, or more than one group, such as pupils who cycle, parents who drive to school, or older pupils who are coming up to the age when they might start learning to drive. For example a survey of 17 year-olds’ attitudes to driving or being a passenger with other young drivers. Get the students to analyse the results and propose what could be done to encourage safer behaviour.

Look at the aftermath of road crashesedupic16

Explore the aftermath of crashes. Ask pupils to write a fictional newspaper article about a crash caused by a young driver that caused a death and serious injuries, including interviews with a police officer who attended the scene, a bereaved family member and injured victim. To help pupils understand the severity of injuries in road crashes and impact of bereavement you could play Brake’s victims’ stories videos on an interactive whiteboard, or consider inviting a local A&E nurse or surgeon to talk to students about life-changing injuries. (Some may think that injuries are always minor or recoverable, so this can help them realise their severity.) You could also ask pupils to research stories of road crashes and casualties online.

Study stopping distances

Study momentum. Why does it take vehicles longer to brake and stop if they are going at faster speed or are heavier? Use a chart of stopping distances at different speeds or use Brake’s stopping distances calculator as part of an activity on an interactive white board, looking at different scenarios. For example, if someone steps out six car lengths ahead, will a driver travelling at 30mph be able to stop in time? What about at 20mph? Use this to explore the difference it makes when drivers slow down, especially for the safety of people on foot and bike.

The science of road safety

Study scientific improvements in road safety, such as seat belts, air bags, crash helmets, protective clothing for motorbike riders, reflective and fluorescent materials, variable speed limits on motorways. Devise science tests to demonstrate the effectiveness of such improvements, such as how reflective material glows in the dark when a light is shone on it. Stress that scientific improvements help to improve safety, but people also need to be committed to using roads safely. It’s estimated that 95% of crashes are caused by human error. You could also consider the future: could ‘driverless’ vehicle technology help to stop road casualties?

Local survey of road safety

Survey local roads for hazards (e.g. fast traffic - your local police force may be able to visit you and carry out speed checks outside the school with the children) and for road safety measures (e.g. crossings, wide pavements, cycle paths, and lower speed limits). Show these hazards and road safety measures on a map, or take photos or videos. Create a display for other pupils and parents. You can create your own custom maps for free (or for a small cost for added customisation options) using Google maps. This could be displayed and discussed in class using an interactive white board. Use it to discuss how pupils can take advantage of safety features and safer routes, and avoid hazards, and to discuss what changes could be made in the area to improve safety. You could provide this as a report to your local authority, calling for road safety measures, and use this as the basis for a community campaign led by the students. 

Review road safety adverts

Watch road safety adverts and look at road safety poster campaigns (such as those in our educator resources page or on Brake’s YouTube channel). Are they effective? Who are they aimed at? Do they get the message across well? If not, could you do any better? Task the pupils with a creative project to develop their own road safety adverts, for example posters, billboards, bus-back adverts or films (see below).

Create your own poster, advert or performance piece

Create a poster, advert, film, or play about a road safety issue. Posters or adverts could be based on promoting one or more messages from Brake’s Pledge, or on a specific issue pertinent to your school (like trying to persuade drivers to slow down in the area to protect people on foot). A play could explore the temptations and pressures to take risks on roads, and the possible consequences. For example, being in a hurry, or being with friends who want to mess about on the road with a football, or being with older friends who want you to get in a car with a dangerous driver who speeds. Discuss the emotions pupils feel in these situations and how to ‘speak up’ for the safe option.

Campaign using your creative project

Use a poster, advert, film, or play by the pupils to build awareness locally and to campaign for change around a specific road safety issue that is affecting your school’s area, or that the class feels strongly about. You may be able to work with your local authority, emergency services or local businesses to get creative projects and road safety messages out in your local area, and read our guide to community campaigning on working to achieve road safety measures.

                              Key stage 4 and beyond: age 14-18 teaching ideas

Statistically, this is an age group at a much higher risk of death and injury on the road than any other, and road crashes are the biggest killer of this age group. At this age, young people may be thinking about learning to drive, and older students may already be driving, so raising awareness about safe and sustainable road use for drivers, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists, and helping young people to consider their travel options, is essential. Your lessons should aim to not only promote safe choices, but help young people to realise their own and other people’s responsibilities as adult road users, and empower them to feel able to challenge risky behaviour around them.

See the section above on ‘what to teach’ for more advice before you get started and see our resources section for materials to help you. You can also make use of THINK!’s secondary education site, including Key Stage 4 lesson plans and curriculum links.

Use the resources in our young people and road safety road safety section to help run interactive road safety workshops and campaigns.

Analyse different modes of transport

Analyse the benefits and disadvantages of different modes of travel, including walking, cycling, cars and public transport. Explore issues such as safety, pollution, congestion, noise, health, and the well-being of communities. What are the barriers that may prevent people from choosing safer and more sustainable modes of travel? What can be done to encourage more active and sustainable travel? You can find statistics on walking and cycling on our facts pages. Find information on sustainable transport at www.sustrans.org.uk.

Study road casualty data

Explore in-depth a set of statistics relating to road casualties, over a period of years. Look for increases or decreases and explore the possible reasons for these. For example, look at the large number of deaths on roads of motorbikers, or the large number of young people involved in road crashes. Use Brake’s fact pages, or see the government’s annual road casualty statistics.

Explore risk by mode of transport

Using the above statistics, explore the risks of dying on roads using different modes of transport. For example, on average, everyone stands a one in 438 chance of dying on the road. Do people know the risks are this high? Would they take more care if they did? The risks of dying on a train or in an aeroplane are significantly lower. Discuss people’s perceptions and fears of risk on different modes of transport. Discuss people’s perceptions and fears of being killed in a road crash compared with being attacked or murdered. Almost three times as many people are killed on roads compared with people killed by murder and manslaughter.

Discuss improving road user behaviour

What can be done to improve behaviour of road users? Pick topics that will have direct relevance to young people. For example, what are the dangers of driving on drugs or alcohol, or speeding? Are there some issues that lots of people misunderstand, like the dangers of using a hands-free phone kit at the wheel, or driving after one or two drinks? Should there be more advertising campaigns? Or tougher laws and enforcement? What can be done to help people understand the risks and get into safer habits? See Brake’s advice pages and fact pages for more information on these, and other, road safety topics, and see our campaign pages for Brake's calls for behaviour and policy change. Use an initial discussion to spur a creative project or campaign by the students to try to persuade others to use roads more safely, or call for a road safety measure by the authorities (see below).

Explore casualty reduction

Explore reasons for reductions in casualties and whether these reductions may have been brought about by people behaving more safely, or road and vehicle technology, or improvements to the law and enforcement, such as crash protection features in vehicles, speed cameras, better awareness and enforcement of drink drive laws. Get the students to consider and write manifestos setting out what they think the government should do next, aiming ultimately to reduce road deaths and serious injuries to zero.

Explore sustainable and active traveledupic18

Hold a discussion about the benefits of walking and cycling for health, the environment and social interaction, alongside the barriers that sometimes prevent people from walking and cycling, and the reasons so many people own cars and drive even for short journeys. In what ways is our society car-dependent and what problems does this cause? Compare the costs of running a car over the course of a year to getting about by public transport, walking and cycling. If people can’t get about by walking, cycling and public transport, does this create inequality in mobility, i.e. some people can afford to get around and others can’t? Explore what authorities can do to make walking, cycling and public transport safer, more accessible and more appealing. Explore what changes are needed in your area. You could use this to lead onto a creative project or campaign (see below).

Survey local roads and suggest improvements

Carry out an in-depth survey of local roads and suggest road safety improvements (eg. road markings, a speed camera, crossings, regular police patrols). Your council’s safety engineer may be able to give you information about guidelines on implementing road improvements. As part of your survey, write and carry out a questionnaire for local people about their perceptions of local roads and if they think anything needs improving. Use our community campaign page for information on working with local officials to achieve road safety engineering measures.

Creative project

Use road safety as the theme for a creative project, such as designing a website, producing a video, producing a play, or running a media campaign for local people. Run this project over a term and have quantifiable outcomes - e.g. hits on the website, or the amount of coverage obtained in local newspapers. Pick road safety topic that each group feels particularly strongly about and use the finished project to campaign and raise awareness around their chosen topic.

Look at the impact of road crashes

Explore the impact of road crashes on the NHS. Explore the types of injuries and their treatment. Explore the enormous costs involved in treating and rehabilitating victims. Explore the costs involved when a ‘bread winner’ is killed. Who pays for food? Child care? The mortgage? Watch Brake’s victims’ videos stories or study newspaper articles about road crashes and consider the possible consequences in those cases. Task the students with writing fictitious newspaper articles on different types of crashes.

Develop policies to reduce at-work vehicle crashesedupic19

Nearly a third of crashes involve a vehicle being driven for work. Students could pretend they are a health and safety officer for a company with a fleet of trucks, vans and company cars. What policies could they implement to reduce the chances of crashes involving their vehicles? For example, banning the use of all types of mobile phone while driving, setting reasonable schedules so drivers don’t speed between appointments or drive when they are tired, ensuring all vehicles are well maintained.

Deliver Pledge workshops

If you’re working with young people who mainly drive, or are considering learning, attend a free Pledge webinar on running interactive workshops based on Brake’s Pledge.

                              Children with special educational needs (SEN)

It is crucial to ensure that road safety education and training is appropriate for all pupils, including those with special educational needs (SEN). Before teaching road safety, consider if your lesson plans are suitable for any children in your class who have special educational needs.

To help you, explore the links below for Brake’s online guidance on making road safety education inclusive for children with special educational needs. Bear in mind this guidance is focused on teaching safe walking and cycling to children under 16 with SEN who are included in mainstream education and taught alongside pupils who do not have SEN. However, it can be adapted by special schools and special inclusive learning centres. It focuses mainly on working with children with: Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD); Dyspraxia (or Developmental Co-ordination Disorder); and Dyslexia.

   -   Dangers of roads for pupils with SEN

   -   Devising road safety lessons and activities for pupils with SEN

   -   Organising practical roadside training for pupils with SEN

   -   Developing a School Travel Plan that considers the needs of pupils with SEN

   -   Links to additional resources for teaching road safety to pupils with SEN

General information on teaching children with SEN, including the Government’s SEN Code of Practice and SEN Teaching Toolkit, can be found at www.education.gov.uk.

                              Road safety policies and safe school trips

Comprehensive road safety policies that cover the safety of the pupils when on school property, and when on school trips, are vitally important. They help keep safe the children in your care, and ensure that the school is fulfilling its duty of care to pupils. Browse the links below for Brake’s guidance on school road safety policies and safe school trips and travel.

   -   A road safety policy for your school/nursery

   -   Organising trips on foot safely

   -   Safe school bus and coach transport

   -   School Travel Plans

                              Pedestrian and cycle training

edupic23Practical pedestrian and cycle training for children is an effective way to teach safe walking and cycling skills to children, reinforcing the road safety lessons learnt in the classroom, and giving the children the opportunity to put them into practice.

Some local councils offer pedestrian and/or cycle training to schools, so you should contact them in the first instance. You can use Brake’s advice on pedestrian and cycle training alongside any training and resources your local authority offers.

Campaign for safer streets in your community

Schools can make a huge difference to road safety in their areas, and therefore to children and other local residents’ lives, by joining or taking the lead on campaigns for safer streets. Such campaigns can be especially powerful if they are led by or heavily involve the children themselves. This can be of great benefit to the children, by empowering them and giving them a voice in their community, and by creating a great combination of classroom teaching and active campaigning: one of the most effective way to engage children with road safety messages. Such campaigns can help raise wider awareness about road safety, particularly the importance of drivers protecting children, and can contribute to local authorities introducing improved road safety measures in the area. For guidance on road safety campaigning in the community, see our community campaign guide. Plus tell Brake about your campaign and we may be able to offer advice, support and send out our mascot, Zak the Zebra, for a media event.

                               Brake events for educators

Brake runs a range of events and programmes to support and encourage schools and communities to teach, promote and campaign on road safety. Sign up to take part in any of these events and you’ll get free resources to help you, as well as a great opportunity to get life-saving messages across:

rswthumb Road Safety Week: the UK's biggest road safety event each November: an ideal time to teach road safety and campaign for safer streets.

beepthumb

Beep Beep! Day: a fun day to help nurseries and infant schools teach 2-7 year olds the road safety basics and raise awareness among parents.
Kids walk logo

Brake's Kids Walk: thousands of children aged 4-11 from across the country put their best feet forward to promote road safety and the health and planet-saving benefits of walking.

 WYSD Logo

Wear Your Stripes Day: a dress down day with a difference where everyone comes to school dressed like our mascot Zak the Zebra. Kids and teachers can swap their school uniform for fun, bright, stripy clothes in exchange for a donation to Brake.

zakthumb Community campaign support: use our guide to campaigning for road safety measures in your area, and tell us about your campaign using our form – we may be able to send out our mascot Zak the Zebra to give your campaign a boost.
   

If you would like to receive information about other opportunities and events please sign up at our preference centre.

This road safety teaching guide is produced by Brake with support from the Department for Transport.