RAA launches road safety program for preschoolers to tackle road trauma
Given the increasing numbers of children aged five years and under being hurt in road crashes the RAA has launched a series of free safety lessons for preschoolers, aimed at reducing the “alarming increase” in the number of young children being injured or killed.
South Australian State Government figures analysed by RAA showed that 85 youngsters were victims of road trauma in 2010 – but that number jumped to 125 last year. Tragically, in that period a total of 19 youngsters lost their lives, 84 suffered serious injury and another 921 required medical treatment.
RAA’s Senior Manager of Community Engagement, Ben Haythorpe said it’s “never too early to engage youngsters in a conversation about road safety.”
“Young children can be especially vulnerable on our roads, so it’s crucial we equip them with the road skills and knowledge they need to stay safe around traffic,” Mr Haythorpe said.
Children should be made aware of the dangers of the road environment and caring adults should strive to be good role models for their children when it comes to their own behaviour.
Mr Haythorpe said taking RAA’s road safety lessons directly to kindergartens was part of the provider’s long-term commitment to road safety, one which extends on the successful Street Smart Primary program, which visited more than 180 schools in SA last financial year.
The first lesson was held at the Baden Pattinson Kindergarten at Glenelg North, where the children had a 30-minute road safety lesson tailored to their age level from an RAA Street Smart teacher who worked collaboratively with a kindergarten teacher to deliver.
Children are taught how to “stop, look, listen and think’’ and hold a grown-up’s hand before crossing a road and learn safely via a “virtual’’ pedestrian crossing in the classroom.
The lesson also includes an opportunity for children to watch and sing along to a road safety video and complete a jigsaw to which highlights these safety messages.
At the conclusion of the lesson, children also receive a specially produced road safety picture book entitled Yippee, which reinforces the safety lessons, which they can share with their family.
For services in South Australia who are interested in booking a free Street Smart Preschool lesson, phone the Street Smart School Education Team on 08 8202 8214 or email at [email protected]