Child road safety

Keeping children safe on the roads is always a challenge, but we do appear to be getting better at it, which is excellent news.

Child casualty numbers in the North East are at their lowest level since records began in 1979, but there is still more we could do to prevent children being injured at all.

A large proportion of child pedestrian accidents happen when children are crossing the road close to parked or stationary vehicles.

A substantial number also involve children on pedal bikes. Of those young pedal cyclists, an alarming 90 percent are not wearing helmets at the time, which may have a bearing on the seriousness of their injuries.

However, the biggest cause of child road casualties is simply down to the youngsters now looking properly before stepping or running out.

Make sure your child knows how to stay safe on the roads. It could save a life.

Look out Leo is here to help you stay safe on the road – see how…

Case study

Emily urges ‘look out for each other’

 Teenager Emily Armitage knows she is lucky to be alive.

She miraculously survived after stepping off a bus and running into the path of a car  – causing her to bounce off the windscreen.

CCTV footage shows how she was thrown into the road like a rag doll – her head and elbow leaving impressions in the car windscreen, and her shoes ending up in a nearby field and garden.

Amazingly, Emily, now 19, suffered no major injuries, but four years on she still endures pain in her legs and back and suffers anxiety over what happened.

“I should have waited until the bus had moved off before attempting to cross the road, but I didn’t – I thought it was safe to cross and I just ran straight in front of the bus and into the path of an oncoming car,” said Emily, of Lingdale, east Cleveland.

“Everything happened so quickly, I didn’t know what had hit me. I realise that if the driver had been going any faster, I would have been killed.

“I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. I was extremely lucky, but others may not be so fortunate.”

View the CCTV footage: CCTV footage

“If the driver had been going any faster, I would have been killed.”

Make sure your children are seen

  • Children account for a high percentage of road traffic casualties, with boys aged between 11 and 12 the most likely group of pedestrians to be injured.
  • The winter months, when the clocks have gone back and the nights are darker earlier in the evening, are most prevalent for pedestrian road casualties, with a third of accidents happening between 7am to 9am and 3pm to 6pm – when children are on their way to and from school and playing.
  • Local authorities across the North East work with schools to advise children on how to stay safe on the roads.
  • They also run cycling proficiency courses to help keep children safe on the roads while out cycling.
  • The courses are designed to be fun and provide a series of practical sessions to ensure young people are aware of the dangers. The sessions include riding on the road, signalling, overtaking and managing junctions, as well as manoeuvring around parked cars.
  • For more information about general road safety or Bikeability courses, teachers should contact the road safety officer at their local authority.

Pictured: Paul Watson with Pedestrian Pete at Middlesbrough Council with pupils from St Bernadette’s Primary School, Nunthorpe.

Top tips

  • Make sure your child knows the dangers of the roads from a young age

  • Encourage them to cross the road at a recognised crossing

  • Advise them not to cross near parked cars and busy junctions

  • Ask them to take a second longer to make sure the road is safe

  • Warn them of the dangers of running and playing near roads

  • Ensure they are wearing something highly visible after dark

  • Children should only ride bikes on the road if they have received cycling proficiency training

  • Never run across the road

For safety videos and downloadable road safety material, please visit our Resources page