Breakdown and road safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist is urging parents and children to make safety their number one priority on journeys to and from school with the following tips for parents as the new school year begins:
1. It’s cool to be bright: kit your kids out with high visibility fluorescent or reflective jackets, vests or belts.
2. If you drive to school, please allow plenty of time to park safely and legally.
3. Don’t pull up on zig-zag lines outside a school, and respect local residents by not blocking driveways and access points.
4. Find out about any local safe walking initiatives that may operate at your child’s school. Team up with neighbours and walk together.
5. Brush up your knowledge of the Highway Code, and establish safe routes and the best places to cross any roads.
6. Respect speed limits. Many areas around schools are subject to 20 mph speed limits (either permanent or timed), and you will face a £100 fine and three points on your licence if you are caught speeding.
7. Respect any crossing patrol. Be patient and always be prepared to stop. Remember, it’s an offence not to stop at a patrol’s signal.
8. If you drive older children who don’t need escorting into the school premises, always make sure they get out of the car in a safe location, and never let them step out into the road instead of the pavement.
These tips matter. More than 130 children die and another 4,500 are seriously injured every year while cycling or walking on the UK’s roads. And one in five injuries occur on school journeys.