Call to drive responsibly near schools

Road safety charity Brake has launched this year’s series of Beep Beep! Days as part of its campaign to save young lives

Road safety charity Brake held the first of this year’s national Beep Beep! Days in March, with 26,000 young children registered to take part across the UK. Supported by Churchill Insurance, the days help to teach children road safety basics and remind parents and drivers of the need to protect children when driving. The events are particularly targeted at early-years educators, including childminders and nurseries, who can register to receive a free email resource pack with downloadable resources to run an event or buy one of Brake’s resource packs, which include balloons, posters, stickers and certificates, a large road map and activity cards (£12.60 inc postage).

The next dates for Beep Beep! Days are 8 July and during Road Safety Week on 25 November. Early-years educators can choose to run their event on one of these national days or at any other time of the year.

As part of the first national day on 18 March, Brake and Churchill Insurance urged drivers to ‘go 20’ and take more care in communities after their latest survey raised awareness of irresponsible driving around schools and nurseries. According to the survey, nearly three in five parents (59 percent) reported witnessing speeding outside their child’s school or nursery in the past year, with around the same number (60 percent) also reporting drivers pulling out or turning without looking properly.

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

• 47 percent reported distracted driving, such as drivers on phones, around their child’s school

• 65 percent reported inconsiderate or illegal driving around their child’s school

• 30 percent had witnessed children not being secured properly in child restraints 

The survey also suggested that parents themselves could be part of the problem. Nearly a third (32 percent) admitted they don’t drive more safely, for instance by slowing down and looking more than usual, around schools and nurseries, and just under a quarter (24 percent) 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 percent) or shops (60 percent)

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. This year, Brake and Churchill are appealing to all drivers, including parents, to take responsibility for children’s safety and help prevent the six child deaths and serious injuries that happen on UK roads every day. 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.

Julie Townsend, Brake’s deputy chief executive, 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.”

Gus Park, director 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.”

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