Most parents do not think their children understand road dangers or concentrate properly when near roads, a new survey reveals as pupils prepare to set off back to school from next week. 

Safety campaigners have urged parents to help children learn the Green Cross Code “as they would their spellings or times tables”.

In a survey by YouGov, commissioned for Injury Prevention Week (17-21 August) almost two-thirds of parents did not think their children had a good understanding of the dangers or concentrate near roads.

“One in eight parents went as far as to say they are very concerned about their children’s safety,” said Sam Elsby, president of APIL – a not-for-profit group for injured people, which hosts Injury Prevention Week.

“The Highway Code states that children should not be allowed out alone until they can understand and use the Green Cross Code properly. So it is particularly important for those children who may be walking to school without a parent or guardian for the first time this term,” said Mr Elsby.

“I urge parents to be proactive this Injury Prevention Week. Support children in their knowledge and understanding as it is their best tool for avoiding harm on the roads,” he went on.

“Test your children this week on crossing between parked cars and on bends. And ask them if they know to look out for reverse lights so they know if a car is about to move backwards. Test them in the same way you would test them on their spellings or times tables,” said Mr Elsby.

Children aged 15 and under account for around a quarter of pedestrian injuries and deaths on British roads*

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper commented:
“As lockdown restrictions are lifting and return to school approaches there will be an increase in the number of vehicles on the road so it is as important as ever that parents are practicing good road safety with their children.

“If parents in West Lancashire can teach their children now the importance of road safety it will protect them and save families from much heartache and pain in the future.”

*DfT reported road casualties for Great Britain 2019. 5,210 under-15 deaths and injuries of all severities. 21,836 for all ages. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/reported-road-casualties-great-britain-provisional-results-2019

  • APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) is a not-for-profit organisation whose members are dedicated to campaigning for improvements in the law to help people who are injured or become ill through no fault of their own.
  • Visit the association’s website at www.apil.org.uk.
  • Follow @APIL on Twitter: www.twitter.com/APIL.
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