Road Safety News

New resource will help children ‘stay safe on the road’

Monday 1st June 2015

Road Safety GB and Scania* (Great Britain) have joined forces to produce a new resource which seeks to teach children aged 10-11 years about commercial vehicle blind spots and rear-wheel 'cut in' when turning corners.

‘Stay Safe On The Road’ is part theoretical and part practical and delivered in accordance with a full lesson plan developed especially for the programme. 

During the lesson, worksheets compare students' knowledge of blind spots and cut-in before and after teaching in order to ascertain the learning gained during the session. 

Following the lesson, each student is given a personal copy of the Stay Safe on the Road booklet and a poster is left with the school to display as an aide memoire. 

The final parts of the process are three follow up sessions at intervals of six weeks and three and six months.  These are delivered by the school and are designed to measure students’ retention of the programme's messages over the longer term.

The new resource was unveiled by Honor Byford, chair of Road Safety GB, to the 100 delegates who attended the CLOCS seminar at the Tip-ex 2015 event in Harrogate (28-30 May).

Launching the resource, Honor Byford said: "The objective of this initiative is to show children how to stay safe when cycling or walking near commercial vehicles.

“Our intention is that the programme should now be delivered to children the length and breadth of the UK, and our hope is that the industry will come together and provide assistance to help us succeed in that aim."

Arif Jafferji, Scania’s business development and marketing director, said: "Safety is always Scania's top priority and we are delighted to be supporting this initiative.  An immense amount of time and effort has been put in to produce a programme which will spread awareness among children in a manner which is both instructive and memorable. 

“On behalf of all of us at Scania, I would like to thank the Road Safety GB team for their invaluable input which has led to the creation of this unique road safety programme." 

We will publish details of how to register for the 'Stay Safe On The Road' packs shortly. If you would like to pre-register, please send your contact details and the school or organisation you represent.

Scania is a major supplier to UK industry of trucks, buses, coaches and engines for industrial and marine applications. Based in Sweden and with production facilities in Europe and Latin America, Scania is a global organisation which markets its products in around 100 countries worldwide.


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I suspect that somewhere in the highway code is something about not walking into a road without looking (45% fatalities) or while drunk (84% fat 10pm-4am) or without making basic pedestrian errors (75%) or driver errors or poor behaviour (taking it to 94%).

For all the sophisticated analysis, pedestrian injuries and fatalities are down to mundane errors and poor behaviour (typically careless, reckless or in a hurry). Untrained children may survive until they can make those mistakes in adulthood.

The age issue is well noted, but it's not busing or holding hands, rather child resilience versus old age fragility. A lengthy post seems to have gone awol, so I'll just refer you to this chart in Experience Counts, or in the book by the same name (on Amazon).

Peak fatalities for pedestrians occur at age 18, but peak injuries (serious and slight) occur at age 12, and are 50% higher than at age 10 and 14. It isn't busing, it isn't drivers, and it isn't puberty.

And I wonder how many road safety professionals know the peak is even there, or why?

Here's the link to pedestrian injury by age year, demographically adjusted (mainly for the old age impact)
Andrew Mather, Kent

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I didn't say that 107/197 drivers wasn't a majority, but it does identify that of those in fatal pedestrian fatalities then 45% were not complying with the law or highway code. I can't see any basis for you to say that non-compliers crash "slightly less often" and certainly no grounds for saying that compliance increases the chance of a crash. I am equally not sure what I am supposed to have admitted to and how this should cause concern for behaviourists.
Rod King, 20's Plenty for Us

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Isn't 107 out of 197 a majority?

Rod's welcome admission must be worrying for the behaviourists out there as all their attempts to make people compliant don't seem to be worth the candle. If they are non-compliant (according to Rod's figures) they crash slightly less often than the compliant ones do so attempting to make people comply actually increases their chances of having an accident! Isn't it about time that this industry finally realises that their Emperor has got no clothes? Let's abandon behaviourism and the punishment culture and start to look for the real reasons for road accidents as the road users (our customers) deserve nothing less.
Duncan MacKillop. No surprise - No accident.

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Some of you may be aware that TRL did an extensive study of pedestrian fatalities in London, 2006-10 which casts useful light on pedestrian casualties and causation.

It may be viewed at :-

I would suggest that Duncan's "majority were fully compliant drivers" does not take into account the fact that the primary pedestrian witness was not able to add their perspective to the post collision analysis.

Even with such a pro-driver bias in witnesses the TRL report found that only 107 of the drivers (out of 197) were compliant with the law and highway code. (4.2.7).

Whilst not claiming that these deaths would not have happened if these drivers had been compliant it is wrong to so easily dismiss non-compliance of drivers as a factor in pedestrian deaths.
Rod King, 20's Plenty for Us

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Just an observation.

Sorry to slap anybody in particular down, but school age children are rarely killed by HGVs, in fact school age children are less likely to be killed on our roads as a proportion of the overall population - the reason for this is that the majority are driven to school or bussed - or accompanied by an adult.

However it makes sense that children are taught road sense - for all vehicles - i.e. the Green Cross Code etc.

Although it is important for children to understand about the dynamics of road users - including HGVs, what seems to be a major gap in road safety campaigns is the use of pedestrian crossings - including by children.

Next time you are at a pedestrian crossing and you are waiting for the light to turn green to cross - will you do that? I bet not. Pedestrians including children seem to believe that they have priority on our roads, whatever the circumstances. This needs rectifying.

HGV drivers are in a damned if you do and damned if you don't situation because of the structure of their cabs - too many blind spots. Interestingly however, in my study the majority of people killed by HGVs were the elderly. That was not the fault of the HGV drivers - but because the elderly don't look where they are going.
Elaine, Northern Ireland

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Now we know thanks to Stats19 that the majority of pedestrians involved in accidents are hit by fully compliant drivers operating within the speed limit exactly what sort of behaviour needs to be moderated?
Duncan MacKillop. No surprise - No accident.

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Child road safety education, which for a long time was delivered in substantial quantity, has always focussed on training children to avoid trouble. It wasn't until around the end of the eighties that people in this country started suggesting it might be a good idea to moderate driver behaviour as well. If one side has been bashed away at it is the side of child education. Children really are taught to avoid the "crocodiles". Unlike real crocodiles however, we have the option to try and moderate the behaviour of ours. But our "crocodiles" are objecting, saying this is undue pressure. And why should this be a surprise? That is in the nature of "crocodiles".
Tim Philpot, Wolverhampton

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Tim, the Humans in the system do indeed suffer from many shortcomings, but whether it is the result of deliberate actions or as the result of natural human physiology is the clear hiatus between the old and the new view of accident causation.

The 'natural' world for all peoples is exactly the same as all groups grow up with the world as they find it not as they would like it to be. We probably wouldn't last five minutes in some scorched and arrid part of the world yet the local people thrive in it, but they on the other hand might suffer terribly if exposed to some of the things we have to deal with on a day to day basis.

Im sure that people who live by rivers are fairly well educated as to the perils of crocodiles and learn how to spot the signs of their approach whereas we who live by the roads are completely ignorant of the ways of the motor car and have no idea of the myriad ways in which it can hit us. If a child gets hit by a car is that the result of driver shortcomings or is it the result of shortcomings in the poor child's education? There's an element of both of course, but to fix the problem you have got to fix both sides of the equation not just bash away at one side in the hope of finding a fix.
Duncan MacKillop. No surprise - No accident.

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I would have to agree that it seems farcical for schools to have a requirement to provide swimming teaching regardless of their students' exposure to open water, but not to provide basic training in the skills needed to get to and from school.

However, regardless of the absence of legislation, pedestrian training services were delivered routinely to primary schools in many local areas until recently. The reasons for discontinuation are well known and nothing to do with willingness.

It may be an unwarranted assumption, but I would guess the kind of hazards Aborigines are warned about are predominantly those arising from exposure to the natural world – weather, environment, infection, wild animals etc. This makes obvious sense in the context of the Aboriginal way of life. In our sanitised world we have to a large extent removed or mitigated such hazards, but replaced them with less natural ones. The difference is that as well as teaching children (as we would do) how to avoid harm, we have the option to manage the threat, based, as it is, on human behaviour. If we do not also do the latter, we accept tacitly that the shortcomings of motorists are akin to a natural force that cannot be mitigated. What then?
Tim Philpot, Wolverhampton

Agree (9) | Disagree (3)

It is indeed extraordinary that we all use a highly complex and variable transport network almost every day of our lives but we are not taught how to do so in any formal way unless or until we decide to learn to ride or drive a powered vehicle.

Road Safety GB is campaigning for the inclusion of road safety outcomes (things each child should know, understand or be able to do) for each key stage of education. We have proposed this to the previous government, other organisations and through conferences and other forums. We have received considerable support for the principle. The outcomes should be set to be appropriate to the knowledge and skills that children need to enable them to use the transport network safely and knowledgeably at each age/stage.

This can be done almost entirely within the core curriculum by adapting lessons in various subjects to incorporate these outcomes within lessons and themes. Including Bikeability training, which is a creditable physical activity: learning about speed, distance, kinetic forces and traction all sit well within science and maths; planning your route has geography elements; learning to read and use a timetable can be English or maths and then there are other language lessons and so on.

Adopting and integrating these outcomes would ensure that they are taught to every child and would also make knowing how to use the transport system a mainstream activity with a much higher level of knowledge and awareness of all means of travel across the population.

We continue to press for this to be adopted, with support from others such as the IAM and the AA and plan to discuss this with the new government as soon as possible. Watch this space!
Honor Byford, Chair, Road Safety GB

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In aboriginal societies they take a great deal of care to educate their children in what is most likely to kill them and what steps they can take to avoid these potentially deadly things. Isn't it strange then that in our 'civilised' western society we don't bother to do anything as clever as that!

The Scania initiative is most welcome, but you can't help wondering why it falls to an outside agency rather than the established education system to provide children with this crucial knowledge and understanding. If road accidents are the leading cause of death and serious injury among teenagers you would have thought that a significant proportion of the syllabus in secondary school would be dedicated to lessons covering how they can avoid getting tangled up in such events. The 12 year old is the most likely person to be involved in a collision as a pedestrian, but once again only lip service is paid to the problem.

It seems from the previous responses to this article that there is no shortage of desire amongst teachers to get their hands on this material so it's clearly not the teachers that are resistant to the idea of road safety education. Maybe someone on this forum is a bit closer to the education department and might be able to explain why road safety education does not have the status it so clearly deserves.
Duncan MacKillop. No surprise - No accident.

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Looks good, but can't see any information about how to book a session or obtain the resources. Anyone know?
Stuart Letley

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Well done Scania and Road Safety GB. How do schools book the programme?
Liz Mapstone

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