Children’s Road Safety

Children are vulnerable road users owing to their size, developing senses and short attention span. A child’s small size makes it difficult for them to be seen and see traffic well. A child’s sense of hearing has not matured to enable them correctly and consistently determine the direction of sound. Compounding the problem further is the fact that children are easily distracted due to their short attention span. The net effect is that these factors limit a child’s ability to safely navigate a complex and dangerous road traffic environment on a daily basis as they
seek knowledge.

Interventions

World Health Organisation publication Ten Strategies for Keeping Children Safe on the Road provides a blue print for children’s road safety management. Ten strategies are elaborated in the publication and are depicted below.

swrw_children_safety

To address this challenge, the Total Group engaged education and road safety experts who developed a road safety toolkit (On the Road to Safety Program) targeting children aged 6-14 years in Africa and Middle East. This program aims at equipping pupils in primary schools with road safety knowledge and skills to ensure that they became safer pedestrians. The content is split into three lessons, each covering a general theme. Schools are given miniature road signs, road track, colored pencils and student exercise books to ensure learning is both practical and interesting.

On the Road to Safety Program was launched in June 2012 and has reached over 85,000 pupils in 96 schools. 2,000 road safety ambassadors have been trained in these schools. Improving road safety for children is an expected outcome of Sustainable Development Goal 11. Target 11.2 states “By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons”.

Governments have role in prioritizing investment for safe walking by providing footpaths and safe crossing points, reducing vehicle speeds through road design and traffic calming are cost effective interventions.
Individuals, we must be proactive play our part as guardians by respecting and helping children as vulnerable road users.