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Road safety reminder timely lesson for all

Parents and children are being urged to take care on the school run. Picture: GEM Motoring Assist/stockbroker/123RF

Parents and children are being urged to take care on the school run. Picture: GEM Motoring Assist/stockbroker/123RF

GEM Motoring Assist/stockbroker/123RF

The new school year starts next week so road safety charity GEM Motoring Assist is urging eveyone to take extra care whether walking, cycling or driving.

Pupils go back to school next week after the summer holidays and parents and children are being urged to make road safety their priority.

Breakdown and road safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist says it’s vital everyone is aware of the risks that go with using our roads. More than 130 children die, and another 4,500 are seriously hurt, every year while cycling or walking on the UK’s roads. And 20% of all injuries happen on school journeys.

GEM road safety officer Neil Worth said: “Every child needs to learn how to use the roads safely, whether walking or cycling, and later when driving.

“But road accidents remain a leading cause of accidental death for children, and we know they can cause life-changing injuries. Figures show that pedestrian casualties peak at the age of 11 to 12. For cyclists, the most vulnerable age is 14.

“That’s why it is so important for us all to take responsibility – not just for our own safety but for the safety of any children who share the roads with us – and find ways to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries.

“So as another school year begins, we encourage all parents, guardians, teachers, carers and older siblings to play their part in helping children to use the roads with respect, to recognise the risks they face and to understand effective ways of minimising those risks.”

GEM has compiled a selection of tips to reduce the risk:

It’s cool to be bright – kit your kids out with high-visibility fluorescent or reflective jackets, vests or belts.

If you drive to school, please allow plenty of time to park safely and legally. Don’t pull up on zig-zag lines outside a school, and respect local residents by not blocking driveways and access points.

Find out about any local safe walking initiatives that may operate at your child’s school. Team up with neighbours and walk together.

Brush up your knowledge of the Highway Code, and establish safe routes and safe places to cross any roads.

Respect speed limits – many areas around schools are 20mph zones, either permanent or timed, and you face a £100 fine and three points on your driving licence if caught speeding.

Respect the crossing patrol – be patient and always be prepared to stop. It’s an offence not to stop at a patrol’s signal.

If you drive older children but they don’t need escorting into the school premises, make sure they get out of the car in a safe place. Never let them step out into the road instead of the pavement.

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