Keighley Year of safety

Road Safety

Children under 7

By setting a good example, you can make sure your child remains safe and develops road and traffic awareness. You might also want to follow these simple tips when crossing the road with your child.

 On the pavement

When walking near a road it is a good idea to:

  • hold your child's hand - don't let them run ahead
  • look out for and encourage your child to be aware of hidden entrances or driveways crossing the pavement
  • put reins on a younger child if they're not strapped in a pushchair
  • make sure your child walks on the side of the pavement away from the traffic

It can be hard for motorists to see small children, especially when they are reversing, so take extra care. Never let your child go near a road alone or even with an older child.

Children are generally not ready to cross roads on their own until they are at least eight years old - and many will not be ready even then.

Crossing the road

When the time comes to teach your child about crossing the road, remember the following:

  • always set a good example by choosing a safe place to cross and explaining what you're doing
  • let your child help you decide where and when it's safe to cross
  • tell your child that it's safest to cross at a pedestrian crossing or a crossing patrol
  • tell your child not to cross where they can't see far along the road
  • explain that they should not try to cross a road between parked cars; drivers won't be able to see them very well and the cars might start moving
  • use the Green Cross Code with your child - explain that you have to stop at the kerb, then look both ways and listen for traffic before crossing
  • when it's safe to cross, walk straight across the road and keep looking and listening out for traffic
  • remind your children to concentrate - they may be easily distracted, forget what they have been taught and dash out into the road
  • make sure that anyone else looking after your child follows the same road safety rules that you do.

Children aged 7 to 11

At seven years old, your child might still hold your hand as you walk them to school - a few years later your child may be going to school without you. It's important to know ways your child can be independent while staying safe on the roads.

Knowing the Green Cross Code

Children should not go out alone until they are old enough to know the Green Cross Code and use it properly. The age is different for all children but it is generally not before they are eight years old. 

To follow the code, they must:

  • find a safe place to cross
  • stand on the pavement near the kerb
  • look all round for traffic and listen
  • if traffic is coming - let it pass then look all round again
  • when there is no traffic near, walk straight across the road
  • keep looking and listening for traffic while crossing

When walking along the road

Walking is healthier than going by car. But your child can't always see what you can see and drivers can't always see your child, where they can see you. You could teach your child to:

  • always walk on the pavement or path if there is one - never stray on to the road
  • walk as far away from the kerb as possible
  • walk in single file on the right side of the road facing the traffic if there's no pavement

When you are out and about

Always be sure to:

  • explain road safety rules
  • use the Green Cross Code
  • talk about what's going on in the street
  • encourage your child to talk about what they see on the roads and whether it's safe or not
  • let your child make decisions with you, so that they learn through activity
  • help your child plan the safest route whenever they are going somewhere.

Bus safety

Make sure your child knows:

  • to stop, look and listen before they cross any road
  • that they should stay on the footpath or the verge until the bus has moved far away
  • to act sensibly on and around school buses
  • about the dangers of traffic being hidden from their view by the school bus
  • never to cross the road in front of the bus.