Walk Safely to School Day
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Pedestrian Council of Australia
Road Safety
Walk to Work Day
2020 Cancelled due to pandemic

Getting to school safely the biggest lesson

The Daily Telegraph

Thursday 4 April 2002


MORE than 500 children are injured after being hit by cars every year -- and as many as 12 die.

Tomorrow's Walk Safely to School Day is designed to reduce these heartbreaking statistics.

It is hoped that through the event parents can understand the importance of training their children in correct road safety behaviour.

Pedestrian Council of Australia spokesman Harold Scruby said yesterday parents often overestimated their child's ability to behave safely in a traffic environment.

He said they could forget that younger children could be impulsive, easily distracted and unable to judge properly speed, distance and the origins of sound.

Parents should remember to:

  • Always set a good example themselves with road safety;

  • Make sure all children under 10 are supervised by an adult, including having their hand held in a traffic environment;

  • Ensure that an approved helmet is worn when a child is riding a bike, as required by law;

  • Never call children across a road.

Between 1996 and 2000, more than 1700 primary school children were injured on NSW roads.
The latest available Roads and Traffic Authority statistics, which cover the 2000 calendar year, 12 children between five and 16 were killed by cars. Another 552 were injured after being hit.

“A great percentage of these accidents could have been avoided if children had some training to cross the road,” Mr Scruby said.

The Pedestrian Council's Walk Safely to School Day aims to educate children and parents about road safety.
“A lot of people think these things [road safety education“ happen naturally,” he said. “That's not the case.
“We have to recognise that children up to the age of 10 have no idea how to cross
the road.”

The council says children under the age of 10 don't have the peripheral vision range of adults and can become disoriented in traffic.
“It's like swimming. Some people just think you chuck the children in the drink and they'll find their way to the ladder,” he said.
“But it's not the right way to teach children, and the same goes for road safety.”

Mr Scruby said children should be taught to look both ways for traffic and children under 10 should not cross the road without holding an adult's hand.
“It's a matter of holding their hands and taking them across the road, showing them again and again how to get across safely.”

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