Road safety banners designed by children as young as four have gone on display outside schools as part of a national competition run by Brake and sponsored by Co-op Insurance.
Six designs aimed at spreading awareness about the dangers of speeding were chosen from nearly 7,000 entries submitted to the charity from across the UK as part of Brake’s road safety poster competition.
The competition, which was also supported by the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) and National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), saw 4-11-year olds from 500 schools and community groups take part. The project, which included free resources for teachers, aimed to inspire and engage children about the need for drivers to slow down so kids can walk and cycle to school safely. It then challenged them to create a poster about the dangers of adults speeding - something that puts kids' lives at risk every single day.
One winner and two highly commended entries from two age categories – key stage 1 (4-7), and key stage 2 (7-11) have now been chosen.
The key stage 1 winner is Joseph Air, aged six, from Elmridge Primary School, in Altrincham, Greater Manchester. His “slow down! children around” design has been turned into two large banners that have gone on display outside the school and Altrincham Fire Station.
Alex Muir, aged 11, from Hazel Leys Academy, in Corby, Northamptonshire, is the key stage 2 winner and her “slow down, 20 is plenty” design has now gone on display at the school.
Both children have also won a brand-new bike, helmet and lights, kindly donated by Halfords, and £100 Hobbycraft hamper for themselves, plus £100 of Co-operative Food Store vouchers for their school and a visit to their local fire station. The prizes are being presented by Brake mascot Zak the Zebra today and tomorrow – read on for photo and filming opportunities.
The highly commended children, who have won a banner of their design, visit to their local fire station and £30 Hobbycraft vouchers, are:
Key stage 1- Frank Nowak, aged five, of East Wichel Community Primary School and Nursery, Swindon, and Daisy Lynne Saunders Pearmain, aged four, of Hatfield Heath Primary School, in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire.
Key stage 2 - Matthew Wright, aged 10, from Dunston Hill Community Primary School, in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, and Max Mackay, aged 10, from St Peter's Primary School, in Edinburgh.
Dave Nichols, community engagement manager at Brake, said: “The poster competition was a fantastic opportunity for schools, children and parents to work together to help raise awareness about the dangers of speeding in their local community – something that puts kids’ lives at risk every day. We were really impressed by the high standard of entries we received and the talent and knowledge the children displayed in their designs. A massive congratulations to all our winning children and schools.”
Jen Price, teacher at Elmridge Primary School, said: "At Elmridge, we believe it is very important to educate our pupils about road safety and Brake always has fantastic resources and events to support us with this. It is particularly important to us as our school is located in a heavily built up area where speeding is an issue. Opportunities like the poster competition help to raise awareness of this amongst our pupils, families and the local community. We are delighted that one of our pupil’s entry has been selected as the winner of the poster competition!"
Inga Bain, principal at Hazel Leys Academy, said: "At Hazel Leys Academy children have an excellent knowledge of how to keep safe and how to look after each other. Our students have many talents and we wanted to share these with others. The Brake competition provided an opportunity to showcase what children have learnt as well as demonstrating their creative flair in being able to communicate simple but powerful messages to others. The Academy is sited on a busy road; close by we have shared community spaces, nurseries and local amenities. Being speed aware helps to keep every child free from harm as well as keeping the whole community safe; taking part in the competition reinforced the importance of sticking to the speed limit for our children and adults."
Charles Offord, director of distribution and marketing at Co-op Insurance said: “It’s been fantastic to see so many children as young as four take part in an activity which aims to educate children on a very serious subject in such a fun and engaging way. We were delighted to be involved in the competition and we look forward to seeing how the children respond to the winning posters.”
Sean Bone-Knell, National Fire Chiefs Council road safety lead, said: “The dangers of speeding are ever present on our roads every day and ensuring our children are aware of the dangers and are able to assist in encouraging drivers to slow down has to be a positive action. The quality of the final posters and the thinking behind their work is first class and I can see how these pictures will make any motorist think about their actions and raise awareness in the community. A huge thanks to Brake and the NPCC for this collaborative campaign and well done to all who took part.”
Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for roads policing, said: “As some of the excellent winners of this competition have shown, we have to educate everyone about the dangers that all road users face from dangerous driving and excessive speed. Speeding is still a significant factor in far too many road incidents and that has to change. I want to encourage everyone who took part in this competition to keep talking about the dangers and raising awareness, to help the police keep our roads safe for future generations.”
Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths, serious injuries and pollution occurring on our roads every day. We work to make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake's vision is a world where there are zero road deaths and injuries, and people can get around in ways that are safe, sustainable, healthy and fair. We do this by pushing for legislative change through national campaigns, community education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.
About Co-op Insurance
Co-op Insurance is a UK-based general insurer that operates principally within the personal lines segments of the motor and home insurance markets. The Co op Insurance underwrites the majority of business written, supplemented with some small lines of business where The Co op Insurance acts as a distributor or has a 100% reinsurance arrangement in place.
With more than 1.18m customers, The Co op Insurance is committed to ‘Doing the Right Thing’ and always strives to treat customers and members fairly. The Co op Insurance pioneered the way in lowering the insurance premiums of young drivers as the first major insurer to launch a pay how you drive telematics insurance product for young drivers in 2011. Since launching the scheme, The Co op Insurance has saved its young drivers more than £7.2 million in their first year of driving.
The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) provides clear, professional leadership while representing the wider sector on matters such as professional standards, operational guidance, research and sharing best practice. The NFCC also leads and delivers key national workstreams through its Coordination Committees and aims to drive improvement and development across UK Fire and Rescue Services, while supporting strong leadership.
The NPCC brings police forces in the UK together to help policing coordinate operations, reform, improve and provide value for money. Some of the biggest threats to public safety are national and international. We have a collective strength by coordinating the operational response across forces. Crime is changing and so are citizens’ needs and expectations of policing. We’re constantly adapting and reforming to keep people safe. Public confidence and support is essential. We're always striving to improve the way we work and learn from when things go wrong to build people's confidence in us. It’s more important than ever that our service is efficient and effective, providing best value for money.