Friday, 14 November 2008

Road Safety Is Serious

Ever since we moved to our new home, and started walking to nursery, it has increased my awareness of road safety.

You would think that being out in the sticks, that there is less to worry about, but I believe it is quite the opposite.

Because the roads are quieter, and the traffic generally lighter, people can tend to be lax about road safety.

This must be the worst state of mind to be in regarding it.

Their is less traffic here, but many of the roads are unclassified and have the national speed limit applied, or are driven like they do anyway.

In fact, our village, being sandwiched between two such zones, has a lot of vehicles not slowing down driving through it, and therefore breaking our already too-high 40 mph speed limit.

A group of volunteers has actually set up a community speed watch programme, operated in conjunction with the Police, and it means details of speeding motorists will be given to them to act upon.

Their ultimate aim is to get the speed limit reduced to 30 mph, and get the majority of folks to observe it.

The Department of Transport is obviously concerned about road safety too, and in particular how children observe it.

There have been some memorable advertising campaigns, such as The Green Cross Code Man and Tufty The Squirrel.

I was reminded of these when on a recent trip to the Coventry Transport Museum.

Max actually stopped at this point to watch the whole of the looping video montage. He actually only wanted to tell me the actor who played the road safety giant, also was Darth Vader.

But, impressed, very impressed.

Apparently a new campaign is on its way, and I’ve been privy to some of their new material, in return for my feedback.

After some detailed research, one of today’s problems is the fact that children do not give road safety enough gravitas, and therefore do not take it seriously.

That added with the different media types accessed by people today, a new way of getting the message across is deemed necessary.

The outcome is a new advertising campaign that will hit kids television very soon.

‘Tales of the Road’ will feature 3 dimensional animated children affected by road accidents, and will hopefully get the message across to the digital generation.

It makes for pretty grim viewing, and it is obvious – from this advert – that the DfT wants to connect children with the message that;


I am personally unsure that this is the best way to engage children to get them to prioritise their safety.

My character, Luke Bothways, would be much more effective, especially for the younger ones.

But perhaps this is targeting a slightly older age group, children who are more likely to walk to school unsupervised, or supervised on a long leash.

In all cases, I hope it works.


harassedmomsramblings said...

Ok I Luke Bothways is rather funny!!!

I remember as a child, having characters come to our school every year to teach us road safety! I cant remember their names but they had bright big costumes on!

As far as I know that doesnt happen here at all! My kids know what they know PURELY from me - they have been taught nothing at school and there is nothing currently running on our tvs!

So its a problem here too! We actually have a very high pedestrian death toll in South Africa - there is actually a very big motorists beware of pedestrians thing going on.

The Grocer said...

Many residential roads and those frequented by large numbers of schoolchildren have been reclassified as 20mph zones now up here.
Awareness is great but getting them out there and experiencing walking, finding safe places to cross and crossing is better. Foe me there is no substitute.

Snickollet said...

Luke Bothways . . . he he he.

I live on a street that has a posted limit of 20mph, but I regularly see people fly by going at least 45mph. It's scary, and annoying as there are lots of little ones who live on our road.

T said...

Yikes! That's pretty grim!

I like Luke Bothways. Sheesh! What's with scaring the crap outta kids?!?!

Tismee2 said...

I was a member of the Tufty Club! It isn't the kids they need to educate it's the stupid drivers who don't think.

I live on a very quiet estate and some people - who actually have small children themselves still drive through like it's Brands Hatch. I sometimes get the urge to 'look' like I am about to step out infront of them to give them a fright.

But that would be irresponsible!

Luke Bothways - I like the sound of him.

Single Parent Dad said...

Thanks all. Some quality comments. And it looks like I should be developing my Luke Bothways character!

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