Beep Beep! campaign urges drivers to slow down to save little lives, as three in five parents report speeding around their child’s school

Wednesday 18 March 2015

Brake, the road safety charity
news@brake.org.uk 

Road safety charity Brake and Churchill Insurance are urging drivers to ‘go 20’ and take more care in communities, as their latest survey puts the spotlight on irresponsible driving around schools and nurseries. Three in five parents (59%) reported witnessing speeding outside their child’s school or nursery in the past year, with the same number (60%) also reporting drivers pulling out or turning without looking properly.

The findings come as up to 26,000 tots across the UK take part in the first national Beep Beep! Day of 2015, a road safety project for nurseries and infant schools run by Brake and Churchill and aimed at helping keep young children safe on the roads. See the Beep Beep Day! launch video and photos.

Brake and Churchill’s survey of 1,000 parents of 5-11 year olds also found:

  • Nearly half (47%) reported distracted driving, such as drivers on phones, around their child’s school.
  • Two thirds (65%) reported inconsiderate or illegal parking around their child’s school.
  • Three in 10 (30%) had witnessed children not being secured properly in child restraints.

Worryingly, there are indications that parents themselves could be part of the problem. A third (32%) admitted they don’t drive more safely, for instance by slowing down and looking more than usual, near schools and nurseries, and a quarter (24%) admitted they don’t even do so around their child’s own school or nursery. Three in five also admitted they don’t take more care around homes (62%) or shops (60%).

As well as teaching children aged two to seven road safety basics, Brake’s Beep Beep! Days raise awareness among parents and drivers about how they can keep kids safe. As this year’s project kicks off, Brake and Churchill are appealing to all drivers, including parents, to take responsibility for children’s safety to help prevent the six child deaths and serious injuries that happen on UK roads every day [1].

In particular, drivers are being asked to stick to 20mph or below around schools, nurseries, homes and shops, to protect children and others on foot or bike. Find out about Brake’s GO 20 campaign.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: “All children have the right to a healthy life, and to be able to play safely – rights that are universally enshrined in the UN convention on the rights of the child. And yet, in the UK, one of the most developed countries in the world, our children are often denied these rights because of the lethal danger posed by fast traffic and careless driving. That’s why, in a year when the UN is asking people across the world to help #SaveKidsLives on roads, we’re calling on UK drivers to take the lead in making roads safer for children – by going 20mph or less and taking more care in communities. As well as educating kids about road danger, we hope the Beep Beep! Day project will serve as an inspiration for parents and drivers to help reduce that danger.”

Steve Barrett, head of Churchill Car Insurance, said: “We are very proud to be supporting Beep Beep! Day once again this year. Too many children die or are seriously injured on our roads each day. Beep Beep! Day is a great way of starting to educate young children on road safety, as well as raising awareness among drivers, including parents and grandparents, of the need to drive with extreme care when young children are about.”

REGISTER! 

Nurseries, playgroups, child-minders, infant schools and children’s centres can sign up now to run a Beep Beep! Day. Register online to receive a free electronic resource pack, or purchase a bumper hard-copy pack for £12.60 (inc VAT), including posters, stickers, certificates, activity sheets, road map and hand print poster. Go to www.brake.org.uk/beepbeepday, call 01484 550061 or email beepbeep@brake.org.uk.

About Beep Beep! Day

In 2014, 15,000 children took part in a Beep Beep! Day. Brake encourages nurseries, playgroups, infant schools, children's centres and childminders to run the event on one of three dates – in 2015, these are 18 March, 8 July and 15 November – or on whatever day is best for them. Nurseries receive a free electronic pack with downloadable resources, or can buy a bumper hard-copy pack for £12.60 (inc VAT) to help them run road safety activities and promote road safety to parents and the community.

Beep Beep! Days involve activities such as creating a poster of hand prints saying 'We hold hands', experimenting with toy cars to learn the words stop and go, and singing road safety songs. Activities are designed to help children to start understanding road safety, and to emphasise to parents and other adults their responsibilities in protecting children. Sponsorship raised by children helps Brake provide support for families bereaved and injured by road crashes and run community road safety campaigns.

See www.brake.org.uk/beepbeepday.

Advice for parents

When your child starts to walk with you around your community, talk to them about how they must always hold your hand. If your child is likely to pull away from you, use safety reins or a wrist strap. Hold hands until your child is at least eight, or longer depending on their development.

Make sure they understand the meaning of stop, traffic, danger, look, listen, walk don't run, and other key words. Encourage your child's nursery or playgroup to teach road safety through a Beep Beep! Day. Your child's learning will be more effective if they are taught about road safety at school as well as at home.

See www.brake.org.uk/families.

Full results

These results, released today (Wednesday 18 March 2015), are from a survey of 1,000 parents of children aged 5-11, conducted by independent survey company Surveygoo in March 2015.

Q1. Do you drive more safely (e.g. slowing down and looking around more) around the following? (tick all that apply)

  • Your own child’s school or nursery – 76%
  • Other schools and nurseries – 68%
  • Leisure facilities (e.g. parks, playgrounds, sports facilities) – 50%
  • Shops – 40%
  • Homes – 38%
  • None of the above – 15%

Q2. Have you witnessed any of the following bad driving behaviour around your child(ren)’s school or nursery in the past year? (tick all that apply)

  • Speeding – 59%
  • Pulling out/turning without looking properly – 60%
  • Inconsiderate/illegal parking – 65%
  • Road rage – 33%
  • Distracted driving (e.g. on phones) – 47%
  • Children not belted up properly in child restraints – 30%
  • None of the above – 11%

Brake

Brake is a national road safety charity that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaignscommunity 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.

Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and now has domestic operations in the UK and New Zealand, and works globally to promote action on road safety.

Follow Brake on Twitter or Facebook. Follow Julie Townsend on Twitter.

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.

Churchill

Founded in 1989, Churchill is now one of the UK's leading providers of general insurance, offering car, home, travel and pet insurance cover over the phone or on-line.

Churchill general insurance policies are underwritten by UK Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England No 1179980. UK Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Churchill and UK Insurance Limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc. Customers can find out more about Churchill products or get a quote by calling 0800 200300 or visiting www.churchill.com.

End notes

[1] In 2013, there were 2,053 children (ages 0-15) killed or seriously injured on UK roads. Reported Road Casualties Great Britain: 2013 Annual Report, Department for Transport, 2014. Police Recorded Injury Road Traffic Collision Statistics: 2013 Key Statistics Report, Police Service of Northern Ireland, 2014.