A new safety campaign has enlisted the designer of Britain’s iconic road signs and some famous faces from children’s entertainment to encourage drivers to take more care around schools.
Road safety charity Brake has teamed up with TV channel Disney Junior and designer Margaret Calvert OBE to create a series of eye-catching warning signs after research revealed parents are scared to let their children walk to school.
The special edition signs are inspired by Margaret’s original children crossing sign but feature a number of Disney’s most famous characters, including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Donald Duck.
They are being released to inspire schools and nurseries to make their own road safety messages that call on adults to drive safely after research found that most parents are worried about motorists speeding near schools.
Too dangerous to walk to school
The poll of parents found that 82 per cent are concerned about the speed of cars around their children, with 38 per cent saying it has become too dangerous to walk their children to school.
More than a third are also worried about youngsters’ road awareness, with 35 per cent concerned that their children don’t know the basics of Stop, Look, Listen and Think.
The research found that parents also need some basic education, with only half of parents (53 per cent) able to correctly identify a pelican crossing and an alarming 83 per cent unable to identify the meaning of a selection of common road signs in the Highway Code.
The signs are being released alongside new interactive road safety guides that are being distributed to nurseries, schools and parents nationwide as part of Disney Junior UK’s Parenting Hacks initiative.
Schools and nurseries can download their own versions of the signs and guides from Brake’s website.
Margaret Calvert OBE said: “The Mickey and the Roadster Racers inspired designs are a fun take on my original ‘children crossing’ signs, which I hope will help teach young children important lessons of the road. By using such recognisable characters I hope they help to capture the attention of children, and parents too.”
Dave Nichols, community engagement manager at Brake added: “Our vision is a world where all children can enjoy safe and healthy journeys.
“Teaming up with Disney Junior and Mickey and the Roadster Racers is a fantastic way to help young children and those who care for them raise awareness about being safe on our roads. Having the support of Britain’s official road sign designer is a powerful way to have these iconic characters give children a voice and call on grown-ups to drive safely.”
Top 10 road safety tips from Brake:
- Be a good role model. As well as setting a good example when driving, try to walk and cycle for shorter journeys. This gives the whole family a chance to exercise, experience the world around them and spend time with each other, talking and learning about roads.
- As soon as your child is old enough to start walking with you, talk to them about how to use roads safely. Remember, children aged eight or younger see and hear the world differently, which means they cannot use roads safely on their own.
- Make sure hand-holding is your number one rule. If your child is likely to pull away from you, use safety reins or a wrist strap.
- When walking, keep children on the inside, away from traffic, in case they trip.
- Teach your child that traffic is hard and fast and can hurt people, because people are much slower and soft.
- Help them to understand that it is important to stay away from roads, hold hands with a grown up, and not to run near roads.
- Talk to them about the benefits of walking and how it is good for our bodies and better for the planet.
- Always try and find a safe place to cross the road such as a zebra crossing, footbridge or underpass. Always check for traffic before crossing and talk to your child about why some places are safer than others.
- When you both decide it’s safe for your child to walk independently, keep reminding them about the Green Cross Code: find a safe place to cross, stop, look, listen, cross with care, looking and listening all the time.
- Help children to plan the safest possible route for their journey to school, the park, shops or their friends’ houses. Hopefully you have safe pavements and crossing places and a 20mph speed limit in your community. If you don’t, then it’s a good idea to campaign for change to keep your family and others safe