Schools and families
It’s important that your children know how to use the road in safe and sustainable ways. The information below teaches children the skills and knowledge to be safe.
Educators and families should take part in safe behaviours as much as possible, acting as positive role models for children.
Walking is our natural way of getting around. It’s free, healthy and sustainable. It can also be an opportunity to help your child develop their road safety skills. The guidance on rules for pedestrians can also provide further advice and information about road safety.
The Green Cross Code
When attempting to cross a road, you should follow the green cross code. This means stop, look, listen and think. The Road Wise website provides details of putting the green cross code into practice. Adults should also follow it to act as positive role models for children.
A pedestrian crossing is a place where you can cross the road safely. There are several types of crossing:
More information can be found in the guidance on crossings.
Some crossings have been adapted for accessibility purposes. They assist people with visual and hearing impairments to use our roads and pavements safely. For example, puffin crossings sometimes have rotating cones on the bottom which activate when it’s safe to cross. Some crossings make a loud beeping noise when you can cross. Some crossings will also have tactile paving.
Cycling is a fun way to get around. Like walking, it’s healthy and sustainable. Switching to cycling instead of using a car helps to reduce our impact on the environment. The guidance on rules for cyclists provides advice and information about road safety.
British cycling provides information on buying and fitting a cycle helmet. Ensuring that it fits securely.
You also need to ensure your bike is road worthy. Each time you leave the house on your bike you should do the ABC check:
- Air - are your tyres correctly inflated?
- Brakes – are your brakes working?
- Chain – is your chain clean and freely moving?
For a more in depth check of your bike you can also follow the M check.
School travel planning
Schools who promote active and sustainable travel to school can get involved with our school travel planning service, which includes the nationally recognised Modeshift STARS scheme.
There comes a time in every child’s life where they will travel on their own. This is usually when they start secondary school. Some children may do this in upper key stage two; years five and six.
Planning the route
When your child starts making their own way to school help them work out the safest route there and back. You should:
- Start by using a map software or by drawing a simple map, marking the route and talking it through
- Avoid potential danger spots such as busy junctions, bends, and areas where parked cars that restrict visibility. This may make the journey a bit longer but it will be safer
- Make the journey together several times before they start on their own to build their confidence. Many parents find this reassuring when letting their child travel independently
- Plan alternative routes so they are prepared if their usual route is unavailable
To help keep children safe when using the bus you can teach them the following:
- Wait at the bus stop and keep away from the edge of the kerb
- When waiting for a bus in rural locations, ensure you are visible to the driver. If the driver cannot see you, you may miss the bus
- When the bus arrives, wait for people to get off before you get on
- Never distract the driver
If you need to cross the road after getting off the bus:
- Wait for it to drive away. Never attempt to cross in front or behind of the bus
- Use the Green Cross Code to help you cross the road safely
It is important that your child remains as safe as possible when travelling on their own. You should ensure that they:
- Keep to public places
- Avoid poorly lit areas
- Know what to do if approached by a stranger
- Never talk to or accept a lift from strangers
- Travel with friends where possible
- Keep mobiles, money and other electronic devices out of sight
You should also make sure that your child knows the following:
- Home address and relevant telephone numbers
- How to contact the emergency services
- What to do if they lose their travel card, money or keys
- Who to approach in the school if they have a problem