At The Children’s Traffic Club, we work hard to help your children be safer when they are using our roads and pavements. Parents need to feel secure that their child is prepared for the independent journeys they will make when they are older. Our programme works on encouraging children to consider how other road users can be aware of them. We know that one of the reasons why pedestrians might be involved in road traffic collisions is because the driver did not see the pedestrian. Sometimes this is because the driver was careless and failed to look adequately, but the pedestrian may also contribute to this problem by making themselves harder to see, particularly at dusk or during the hours of darkness or when weather conditions are poor. Being seen is especially important as we approach the autumnal seasons and clocks going back in October resulting in difficult visibility and therefore the number of road casualties rise. In this blog, we will look at how children can stay safer and be seen more easily by other road users.
In 2017, 23,805 pedestrians were killed or injured whilst using the UK’s roads. 25% of these were children . Child pedestrians in particular are vulnerable because they have lower road safety awareness and are more likely to not look properly or to take risks when crossing the road. Sometimes drivers simply don’t see the pedestrian before it’s too late. It is very important for children to understand why wearing appropriate clothing to ensure that they are more easily seen when walking, cycling or scootering.
How the CTC resources can help with being seen
• Discuss how the weather and darkness makes it harder for drivers to see pedestrians. Using black paper, children can make a poster to help them understand which colours show up best in the dark.
• Talk about how bright colours show up more easily and learn the difference between fluorescent and reflective and when to use each type of clothing using the Let’s Go book. Make the learning into a fun dressing-up game, encouraging children to put on different bright coloured, fluorescent or reflective clothing to help them understand the difference.
• The Children’s Traffic Club resources include activity worksheets which encourage children to think about which colours work best and what clothing they own that could help them stay safer.
• Consider using hi-vis jackets or backpacks that use reflective stripes to improve the chances of your child being seen. Make sure you also wear appropriate clothing which sets a good example to your child.
• Use our unique Augmented Reality app to bring learning to life as you discuss the scene on page 23 of the Let’s Go book.
• Help children to understand the connection between bad weather, such as fog, rain, snow and ice and the increased risk of accidents.
Parents could also consider that their children wear clothing that has reflective stripes to improve the chances of being seen. Make sure you also wear appropriate clothing which sets a good example to your child.
In our next blog, we explore the different types of vehicles that children might encounter, how each vehicle might be using the road and how to stay safe when around such vehicles.
 Department of Transport (2018). Reported Road Casualties Annual Report 2017. [Online]. [4 September 2019]. Available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/744077/reported-road-casualties-annual-report-2017.pdf