Just in time for the schools returning next week, we have put together some tips for safe travel to and from school for you to plan with young children or use as a reminder for those that are a little bit older.
Walking to school:
- Plan the most direct route with the fewest number of road crossings, and a route that is well known and used by others.
- Avoid danger hotspots like deserted parks and badly lit areas.
- Encourage children to use the crossing patrol points.
- Try to ensure that the majority of the route is with friends or family.
- Remind all children that they need to stay alert – loud music through headphones and lengthy phone chats can distract from what is going on around them.
- Walk in the middle of the pavement – and remind children never to approach cars that pull over to ask for directions etc.
- If children are walking alone encourage them to think about having their keys ready so they can gain entry to home quickly.
Cycling to school:
- Plan the route avoiding heavy traffic roads where possible.
- Encourage children to wear a helmet and reflective outer clothing.
- Ensure all reflectors are in place and that lights are working.
- Have the correct lock available to use when on school grounds.
Travelling by bus:
- Wait on the pavement or in the shelter – never on the edge of the curb.
- Have your bus pass ready or the correct money.
- Try to sit near the front of the bus by the driver and make sure you can see as much as possible.
- Carry extra money that is well hidden in case of an emergency.
- Practice the route before the start of term so the journey is familiar.
It is also important to highlight safety when children are travelling in the car – most accidents occur within 10 miles of home.
- Ensure seat belts are always worn.
- The correct number of people are in the car and in appropriate car seats.
- Always leave plenty of time to complete your journey and park the car.
- Don’t park on the markings outside of school – they are there for children’s safety.
Whichever way children travel to and from school ensure they are aware of their routes and safety points along the way – you might want to set up a reporting in system so you know that they are safe – especially if this is the first time they have been independent travellers.
If you found these tips from the Community Safety Team helpful, you may also be interested in visiting the county council’s Road Safety pages at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/roadsafetyparents.