Primary schools urged to march for safer roads for walking to stop five children a day being seriously hurt or killed on foot
Schools are being urged to register now for the UK’s giant safe walking event, Giant Walking Bus, for free resources and support from Brake to help them promote and teach road safety on the day and year-round.
At 10am on Wednesday 12 June 2013 tens of thousands of children across the UK will simultaneously march for safer roads, saying yes to fun, healthy walking and no to people driving fast in their community.
Giant Walking Bus is co-ordinated annually by Brake, the road safety charity, with support from Churchill Insurance. Schools take children on a short, supervised walk, raising awareness about the importance of children being able to walk without fear or threat from traffic. The event can be used to teach children about road safety, promote life-saving messages to parents and the community, and launch local road safety campaigns, using info and resources from Brake. It also raises funds for Brake's work to improve road safety and care for families devastated by a death or injury on roads, as most schools fundraise on the day.
This year’s event will particularly call on drivers to ‘GO 20’ - protect children on foot by slowing down to 20mph around schools, homes and shops - as part of the GO 20 campaign recently launched by Brake.
Giant Walking Bus empowers children and schools to make their communities safer, healthier, and greener, while preventing devastating child casualties. Five children are killed or seriously injured while walking in the UK every day. At the same time, more and more children are being driven to school, and fewer are walking (now less than half) increasing pollution and danger, and affecting health.
REGISTER NOW! Brake is urging primary schools to sign up now to take full advantage of support and resources available from Brake in the run-up: register interest online atwww.brake.org.uk/walkingbus, call 01484 559909 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Three giant reasons to march:
- Learning about road safety: kids can research road risks and transport choices in their community, and make their own 'slow down' and 'get walking' placards and other creative materials. Brake provides guidance to schools on potential lessons and activities they can run. It's a great way to meet safety and citizenship goals and promote travel plans or a healthy or eco school status.
- Slow down drivers and get kids walking: the march gives kids a voice, helping them tell drivers to slow down and look out for kids. It ties in with Brake’s national GO 20 campaign and can also be used as a springboard for schools to campaign for local road safety measures. Brake can help schools get publicity through local media, and promote the event in their newsletter or website, to get the road safety message out.
- Help bereaved and injured families: kids can be sponsored by family and friends to take part, or schools can fundraise in other ways on the day, helping fund Brake's campaigns and services for families bereaved and injured by road crashes.
Julie Townsend, Brake deputy chief executive, says: “The Giant Walking Bus is a brilliant way for schools to promote children’s right to be able to walk without fear or threat from traffic. It’s a chance to teach kids about road safety and why walking is healthy and eco-friendly. But it’s also about showing your local community why kids’ safety on foot is so vital, and how local drivers can make a big difference by slowing down. Many schools will have concerns about children’s safety in their area, and Giant Walking Bus can act as a springboard for achieving change to help protect children and local people. We’re hoping this giant event will be bigger than ever this year, with tens of thousands of kids marching and appealing to drivers to ‘GO 20’ to make walking safer. Sign up now to take full advantage of the resources and support Brake offers to help schools get involved.”
Gus Park, Commercial Director of Motor at Churchill Insurance, said: “We are very proud to be supporting this year’s Giant Walking Bus - not only through our sponsorship but also by involving our employees. They’ll be signing up schools and helping them to organise their Giant Walking Buses – it’s a great way for our people to support Brake, and formally through our employee volunteering programme. Too many children die or are seriously injured on our roads each and every day. Walking buses are a great way of educating children on road safety, as well as an effective way of reducing traffic on our roads at times of the day when children are most at risk.”
The facts about children’s safety on foot
In 2011, 50 children were mown down while walking and killed, leaving behind devastated and traumatised families. A further 1,851 were knocked down and seriously injured, some suffering life-changing injuries like paralysis and limb loss. That’s five children on foot seriously hurt or killed every day. The UK lags well behind many of its European neighbours in protecting children on foot, showing that much more could be done to enable children to walk without fear or threat.
A survey of 8,000 children by Brake released during Road Safety Week 2012 found:
- More than three-quarters (77%) say drivers need to slow down around their home and school
- Four in 10 (43%) say they have been hit or nearly hit while walking or cycling, and more than half (54%) worry about being hurt by traffic when out and about.
- Seven in 10 (70%) say think they would be able to walk and cycle more if roads in their neighbourhood were less dangerous
- 72% said they would like to walk and cycle more than they do at present