Establish road safety practices and routines.
As soon as children can move, they are on the go, exploring. This can lead them into danger. Adults need to make sure that whenever cars could be around, they:
- Watch and keep children out of danger.
- Talk with children about road safety in ways they understand.
- Expect the unexpected...even at home, because you never know when a child will do something new.
Why are young children at risk?
These are only some of the reasons why young children depend on adults to keep them safe. Children:
- Are curious.This can lead to danger if left alone in the car.
- Are dependant.They need an adult.
- Are unable to determine which direction sounds are coming from.
- May be restless. They may not want to sit still in a car, but don’t realise their behaviour can distract the driver.
- Are wanting to be independent. They don’t always want to hold an adult’s hand when near traffic.
- Are small. They can be hard to see in traffic.
- Are fragile. Injuries are likely to be more severe because of their small size.
- May be easily distracted. They need help to understand what to watch out and listen for.
- Are fast and unpredictable. They can move out of safety and into danger in an instant.
As adults, we need to:
- Protect and supervise children in all traffic situations.
- Use our knowledge and experience to predict when a situation might become dangerous.
- Ensure children hold an adult’s hand, wear a seatbelt, or wear their bike helmet, even though they may resist.
- Help children learn about road safety.
- Use the road safety information and activities on this website and ask other adults to do the same.
- Take every opportunity to talk together about what you are doing.
Above all, we must not be complacent!
- Children are most likely to be injured close to home, often in their own street or their own driveway.
- Children can often talk about keeping safe long before they can behave safely.
- Accidents can occur any time, anywhere and to anyone.
As adults, we are responsible for young children’s safety around traffic whether they are pedestrians, passengers, or playing.
For more information
- On early childhood road safety visit the Kids & Traffic website.
- On road safety activities in your local community, contact your Local Council and ask to speak to the Road Safety Officer.
- To find your nearest Authorised Restraint Fitting Station phone 1800 042 865 or the NRMA on 131 122.
- To order copies of the Parents and carers road safety brochure, the Buyers guide to child restraints brochure, cycleway maps or general road safety brochures phone 1800 060 607.