About

What is the Club?

Never has teaching pre-schoolers vital road safety messages been simpler or more ‘fun’ and ‘interactive’!

The Children’s Traffic Club is a proven and effective child road safety programme, focusing on helping parents/ carers teach their children how to keep safe when out and about – but have fun at the same time!

As a member of the Club, children get 3 DVD packs through the post (1 every 4 months) – that’s a year’s worth of stories, to listen to, songs to sing, games to play – all helping them to learn lifesaving messages!

Each pack is full of fun, with 16 weeks of material (that’s 48 weeks in total) to work through with children.

  • The DVD (can be played on a TV or PC) and has:
    • 16 interactive stories and games
    • 16 sing-alongs
    • 16 printable fun sheets
  • Parent’s guide
  • Activity Book and lots of stickers

Balloon and child characters appear throughout the Club and are a great way for children to remember and reinforce those important messages. To meet the characters, just click here

Visit ‘Join the Club‘ to see full membership benefits.

How it works

The Children’s Traffic Club (CTC) programme has been hugely successful for over 20 years and on-going, in-depth research proves it works and helps save lives! To date over 2.5 million children around the UK have become members and received the Club materials directly into their home. We are very proud that it remains the most researched and evaluated early years’ road safety education programme in the UK and it works!

Some life habits of children can be set between the age of 3 to 5 years old – so it’s a vital time to introduce them to the Club. The Club works to influence and change attitudes and behaviour of children on and around roads, by engaging them in how to keep safe in a fun way.

It also aims to inspire, involve and motivate young children, but also encourage and engage their parents and carers, through a multi-sensory learning approach.

The objectives of The Children’s Traffic Club are clear:

  • To reduce casualty rates for the targeted age group.
  • To influence long term behaviour of children who become members.
  • To increase parents’ awareness of road safety issues and to give them knowledge of safe practices.
  • To indirectly benefit other members of the family, such as older children and parents themselves.

Anyone can get involved with the Club to help children learn vital road safety skills: parents, educators or even if you would like to work in some way with us.

If you are a parent/ carer or grandparent and would like your child to become a new member of the Club, please click here

If you are an educator and would like to help bring the Club into your setting to help the children in your care, please click here

Or, if you would like more information on how to work with us, please click here

Key messages

The Club is jam packed with lifesaving road safety messages for young children to learn, understand and then practise. Each story in the Club looks at one key message at a time, and each of the messages are reinforced throughout the games, songs, and activities to help children’s understanding and confidence in learning.

The main messages are:

  • Traffic can be dangerous, so it’s important to hold hands when out near roads.
  • Play safely away from traffic.
  • Roads are for traffic, pavements are for pedestrians.
  • Always stop at the kerb, then look and listen for traffic before crossing.
  • Always look for and use safer crossing places (Zebras, Pelicans, Toucans, Footbridges, Subways and
    Traffic Islands).
  • Wear or carry bright and light things, so you can be seen easily by drivers.
  • Always wear a seatbelt in the car.

The Club also encourages travel awareness and sustainable transport:

  • Walking.
  • Cycling.
  • Using public transport (like buses, trains and trams), instead of using the car.
  • Planning journeys and trips.

The material also talks about health and social messages:

  • Getting out and about in the fresh air.
  • How it can be a fun and healthy way to keep fit.
  • Learning about where you live.
  • Visiting new places and being with family and friends.

The road safety problem

Road Safety is an epidemic that kills an estimated 1.3 million people each year globally and injures 50 million more. If these trends continue, road traffic injuries are projected to kill more people than HIV/AIDS by 2030.

Did you know in the UK?

  • Over 25,000 people were killed or seriously injured in road crashes in 2011. This is the highest its been since 1994!
  • Last year, 2,412 children were killed or seriously injured on Britain’s roads.
  • Most of these casualties occurred whilst the child was out walking or cycling.  Over 1,600 child pedestrians were killed or seriously injured.
  • 336 children were killed or seriously injured whilst travelling in vehicles in 2011. The proper use of child car restraints could have prevented these from happening.
  • According to research from a leading motor vehicle manufacturer, a forward facing child seat provides around 80% better protection than if no child restraints are used, whereas a child in a rear-facing seat is approximately 90% less likely to be seriously injured in an accident.

History

1969
Traffic Clubs for children began in Scandinavia. In Norway, after running for more than a decade, Club members had on average a 20% lower casualty rate (40% in Oslo). In Sweden, casualty rates for 4-6 year olds were reduced by 77%.

Early 1980s
The UK Government tasked TRL (Transport Research Laboratory) to look into the potential of a similar Club in the UK. TRL developed a series of booklets, for use at home by parents/carers with their children.

1985
The Greater London Council (GLC) used TRL material to develop ‘Streetwise Kids’ an urban project to run in London Boroughs.

1989
Following demand for a national scheme to have both urban and rural appeal, General Accident sponsored the development of material for a UK-wide Club. The programme was developed by dbda and named ‘The Children’s Traffic Club’.

Early 1990s
A pilot scheme ran for two years in seven eastern counties of England.

1993
The pilot results were very encouraging, so the scheme was launched nationally, running in many areas of Great Britain.

1993/4
A Nursery Pack and a Health Visitor Pack were developed for use by professionals to support the core programme.

1994
The Children’s Traffic Club won the Prince Michael Premier Road Safety Award.

1995
The (then) Scottish Office made The Children’s Traffic Club available free, to all three year olds in Scotland, plus material for nurseries, playgroups, childminders and health visitors. A new evaluation programme started.

1999/2000
In the light of over 10 years’ research, all Club material was redesigned and fully updated. The scheme was made even easier for parents and carers and updates to information and illustrations were incorporated to fully reflect the changing road environments and ethnic mix of the UK population.

2002
The Children’s Traffic Club material was translated and produced in Welsh, with the support of The Welsh Assembly. The bilingual Club was launched in Wales.

2003
Transport for London (TfL) made The Children’s Traffic Club available free to all three year olds in London. An extensive survey took place of parents throughout the country, whose children had just completed membership of the Club.

2004
A range of new material developed to support the Club. Early Steps packs have been produced for all Sure Starts, Child Information Centres and Early Years organisations to be able to extend the Club’s life messages with those families that need extra support.

2002/2004/2006/2008/2010
Focus groups and telephone interviews – throughout the life of the Club and during the latest redevelopment of the materials, a range of research methods have been employed involving parents, children and professionals (including health practitioners, early years coordinators, childminders, nursery leaders and road safety officers).

2003/2005/2007/2010
Member parents’ surveys were undertaken regularly to ensure that the Club is meeting the needs of parents and their children and to continually monitor its effectiveness.

2010-12
Considerable research and consultation undertaken leading to total re-development of the new multi-media digital Club.

Club impact

We are particularly proud that The Children’s Traffic Club is the most researched, monitored and evaluated road safety education programme ever in the UK.

Since its beginnings it has been constantly monitored and evaluated to ensure it is/remains effective as an educational programme for pre-school children, and as a casualty reduction tool. The research has consistently proven that The Club has the ability to help save lives, and influence the life long habits of children as road users from a pre-school age. 

Casualty Stats in the UK

In 2011, reported child casualties were 19 per cent lower than in the 2005-09 base period and the number of children killed or seriously injured was 21 per cent lower. Child fatalities alone, the 2011 figure was 53 per cent lower than in the base period.

We are confident that the Children’s Traffic Club will have contributed significantly to this. However we never lose sight of the fact that each casualty is one too many!

The success of the scheme has been immense

Scotland: For over 15 years The Scottish Government funded free membership for every 3 year old in Scotland and are proud that it has contributed to an amazing 73% reduction in the number of children being killed or seriously injured on the roads in that period.

Wales: In 2002, The Welsh Assembly funded the translation and production of The Club material in Welsh. This allowed Welsh local and health authorities to offer membership in their areas, with the option of parents receiving the books in the language of their choice. A 32% decrease in the number of children being killed or seriously injured since The Club began in Wales reflects its success.

London
Since 2003, Transport for London has funded free memberships for all 3 year olds living in London. 2010 saw a 57% decrease in the number of children being killed or seriously injured on the roads.

Overall impact of The Club

  • 49% reduction in pedestrian casualties
  • 20% reduction in casualties involving children emerging from behind
    parked vehicles
  • 12% fewer overall road casualties than non-members

Positive behavioural and attitudinal changes

  • Reduces the number of children who play on the streets
  • Increases the number of carers who hold their child’s hand when out
  • Increases the proportion of children who always stop when told
  • Increases carers’ road safety education of children and number of teaching
    methods used
  • Helps children identify roadside objects, safe routes to walk, places to play
    from a picture
  • Gives children knowledge of how to cross a road safely.

Our most recent members’ survey in 2010 reported:

  • A 20% increase in children holding hands when out
  • A 33% increase in children “stopping” when told
  • A 47% increase in children playing away from traffic
  • The overall satisfaction level of parents/carers was exceptionally high
  • 100% of parents said ‘The Club had helped the member to become more
    road safety aware’
  • 95% of parents said ‘The Club had helped them personally to become more
    road safety aware’
  • 98.4% of parents felt The Club helped them’ teach their children road safety skills’
  • 98% highly recommend the Club as a road safety programme
  • 86% were helped to teach other children in the household
  • Over 50% of parents used the material at least once per week.

Awards

Our work is exciting, rewarding and, above all, proven to be successful. We are proud that The Children’s Traffic Club has been recognised with awards and has also been  recommended as part of the Government’s strategy as an educational programme to reduce child casualties.

The following list of awards highlights some of our achievements to date.

GO Awards

Institution of Highways and Transportation Award

IVCA Clarion Awards

Prince Michael Awards

Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards