Published: Wednesday, 29th August 2018

As most Medway children prepare to go back to school next week Medway Council has issued some road safety advice for drivers and pedestrians.

Medway’s roads are expected to get busier as families return to their usual routines and motorists are encouraged to be more vigilant especially around schools where children may be walking or riding bikes.

Some top road safety tips from Medway Council’s safer journeys team include:

-          Be alert - children can be unpredictable and may misjudge traffic, for example, children arriving late for the bus may dart into the road. Focus on the road ahead and pedestrians in your periphery while travelling through a school zone

-          Take extra care – allow an extra 10-15 minutes for your morning commute. The extra time will reduce stress and help keep our roads safer. Follow the rules of the road – drivers are less likely to speed when they aren’t running late. Ensure seatbelts are worn at all times and that children are in appropriate car seats.

-          Avoid distractions – motorists switch off your mobile phone whilst driving. Pedestrians are also advised to avoid listening to music through headphones or using mobile devices whilst crossing or walking close to a road.

-          Pedestrian safety – before crossing the road find a safe place to cross and stop, look, listen and think. If you are travelling to a new school plan your journey and give yourself plenty of time. Make sure you are wearing bright clothing and reflective or fluorescent items.

-          Cyclists – always wear a helmet and make sure your bike is in good working order.

-          School bus advice – arrive at the bus stop five minutes early. Keep clear of traffic whilst the bus is moving off and always wait until the road is clear in both directions before crossing.

'It's important that we all take steps to make sure we stay safe on the roads'

Cllr Phil Filmer, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder in charge of road safety, said: “As children return to school it is important that we all take steps to make sure we stay safe on the roads. We work with schools all year round to deliver road safety lessons to children of all ages. We’re looking forward to continuing our work with schools over the next academic year and I would encourage all residents to follow our top road safety tips.”

All Medway primary schools are offered a programme of road safety lessons which are suitable for children aged four to 11. Road safety officers visit schools throughout the year to teach children pedestrian skills and make them aware of the dangers of the road. The Road Safety team also visit pre-schools and nurseries to start teaching children under five to stop, look, listen and think when crossing the road.

Medway Council also offers a consultation service for secondary schools and further education institutes covering road safety education for both pedestrians, passengers and inexperienced drivers. The Road Safety team works with both primary and secondary schools to promote safer routes to school and offers school travel planning advice.

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