Following the success of last year’s launch, we have once again partnered with Nation Radio for their 2019 Be Safe Be Seen Campaign. More than 5,000 children were injured on roads across the UK in 2017, with 23% of accidents happening between the hours of 3pm – 5pm. We want to reduce this statistic.
We will be posting a series of blogs on the Traveline Cymru website with tips and advice for keeping your children safe and visible when travelling by bus, train, bike and foot. In this first blog post, discover what your child can do this winter to Be Safe and Be Seen when making their journey by foot.
1. Wear brightly coloured and reflective clothing. 42% of all primary school children and 34% of secondary school children in Wales walk to school. Now that the clocks have gone back and the evenings are getting darker, it is even more important that these children make themselves visible to road users.
This could be by wearing a brightly coloured jacket, a high visibility vest, or even reflector strip armbands. Nation Radio are also giving away thousands of reflective backpack keyrings to schools across South Wales. Your child’s class teacher can request up to 30 of these keyrings on the Nation Radio website, helping to ensure your child stays safe and seen seen whilst walking in the dark.
2. Make use of the torch on your phone. This is especially important in poorly lit areas. Using the torch on your phone can improve visibility of the road and pavement ahead, keeping you aware of any oncoming dangers. It can also make drivers aware of your presence along roads that are served by few or no street lamps. But remember to use your torch sensibly! Using it to distract drivers can be dangerous. If your child does not have a phone, you can purchase a small handheld or head torch from most shops or online retailers.
3. Walk along the side of the pavement that faces oncoming traffic. This means that you can see oncoming traffic, and that drivers can see you. This will make your child more aware of what is going on around them and give them the opportunity to react to any dangers in good time.
There is also safety in numbers when walking in the dark. If your child walks to or from school by themselves, see if they have a friend or someone else who lives locally that they can walk with. If your child is too young to walk alone, a responsible adult should always accompany them. They should also walk on the side of the pavement furthest from the road.
4. Avoid distractions. Playing a game on your phone, listening to music through your headphones, chatting to a friend. These are things that we all do with the potential to distract us from the dangers of the road. It is important to stay aware of your surroundings and pay attention to what is happening around you when making any journey by foot. Even if your child won’t ditch the headphones completely, encourage them to wear just one. This means they can hear oncoming cars or people walking behind them and react in good time.
5. Know where you are going. Make sure your child avoids the dangers of not knowing their route, whether they are walking to school, a friend’s house or to a festive event. Using our Journey Planner on the Traveline Cymru website or app, they can discover the length and route of their journey before setting off; the route will appear on an easy to follow map that they can use throughout their journey. We also have a Freephone number service that can be reached on 0800 464 00 00. One of friendly advisors who will be able to help your child plan the rest of their journey if they encounter any problems (so make sure this number is saved in their phones!)
You can find out more about the Be Safe Be Seen campaign on the Nation Radio website.
Keep an eye on our blog page for more advice on how to Be Safe and Be Seen when using the bus, train and cycling.