Kidsafe Victoria is urging all road users to be aware and take extra care around school zones with our children heading back to school for 2020. We all know how unpredictable kids can be, especially when they are excited or distracted.
Kidsafe Victoria General Manager, Jason Chambers, highlighted the dangers for children on and around roads, particularly during the busy back to school period.
“Roads are designed with adults in mind, however children aren’t ‘little adults’. They don’t have as much traffic experience or knowledge and are physically and cognitively less developed than adults, which places them at greater risk of injury.”
“During school hours there will be lots of excited children around roads, car parks and driveways, especially during the often chaotic pick-up and drop-off times.”
In addition to increasing awareness in school zones, adults are also urged to remember safety around their home driveway. The driveway, a place where many school day family journeys begin and end, is an area where particular care is needed. Every year an average of 7 children aged 0-14 years are killed and 60 are seriously injured due to driveway run over incidents in Australia.
“Children are unpredictable. They are naturally inquisitive, as well as being surprisingly quick and mobile. This, combined with the large blind spot that exists behind all vehicles, can make it difficult to see a child behind a reversing vehicle “, said Mr Chambers.
Kidsafe Victoria is also reminding parents and carers about the critical role that correctly fitted and used child car restraints and booster seats play in protecting children in the event of a crash.
Under Victoria’s child restraint road rules, all children under 7 years of age must legally be seated in a correctly fitted child car restraint or booster seat. However, Kidsafe recommends that children remain in their current restraint – including in a booster seat – until they outgrow the size limit, rather than being graduated to the next stage based on their age.
“A good adult seat belt fit is not achieved before children can pass the 5 step test – this is typically when they are approximately 145cm tall, or 11-12 years of age”, said Mr Chambers.