RoadSafe tips for safe school runs

IAM RoadSafe is providing advice to parents on how to stay safe during the daily commute as children head back to school after the summer break.

Sharing the school run with neighboursWith the long summer break nearly over, children are shortly returning to school and parents will be once more embarking on the daily school run, something which IAM RoadSmart points out carries increased risk regardless of how experienced drivers are in taking their children to school. This increased risk stems from the hurry people are in and the increased levels of distraction.

To help mitigate these risks, the UK road safety organisation’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman, has compiled a list of tips to help parents make the school run as safe as possible for all road users.

Reduce the hurry – A rushed breakfast, forgotten school lunches and half-dressed kids can put you in the wrong frame of mind.

Check the seating – If you use child or booster seats, check they are still fit for purpose and correctly secured.

Park considerately – Think about how you park and don’t obstruct crossings or use the zig-zag “no-waiting” areas directly outside the school.

Check blind spots – Children are thinking about their friends and the day ahead and not your car as they rush to the school gate.

Be alert and ready to stop – Children can be very unpredictable and are likely to be concentrating on other things and don’t always have the experience to judge your speed.

Watch out for cyclists – Children on bikes are often inexperienced and might have a few wobbles. Slow down and allow plenty of space between your vehicle and the cyclists. If in doubt, wait

Keep it down to 20 – Speed limits in school zones are lower for a reason and remember it is a limit not a target.

Teach road safety – Make sure your children know the basics of road safety. Simply looking right then left then right again can save lives. Take time to show them the right thing to do and remember if you run or ignore the red man they will too.

Commenting on the school run and keeping children safe, Richard said, “Making a few simple changes to our driving can help keep our ‘precious cargo’ as well as other peoples’ children safe. Consider parking a short distance away from the school and completing the journey on foot, which will reduce the parking congestion in the school area.”

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