Road safety - starting senior school
Road safety awareness is more important than ever when your child moves from primary to secondary school.
Before they start school in September, practise the new school route together and discuss any changes to their routine and how these changes may affect them.
How do I plan my journey?
Start by asking how far away school is from where you live and what the best form of transport is for you, the environment and other road users.
Walk or cycle if you can to ease the pressure on public transport, stay fit and help keep the air clean.
Walking to school
Plan your route over the summer holiday. Can you see any roads that may cause you problems? Look out for junctions where one road meets another, and remember you have to look more than two ways.
Be aware of parked vehicles, never cross where you cannot see or be seen and look for safer options such as Pelican, Puffin or Toucan crossings. Remember that you must always stop and wait:
- for the green man and double check all vehicles have stopped before you step into the road
- for vehicles to stop on both sides at a Zebra Crossing before stepping into the road
- at a school crossing patrol point and only cross when told to
How do I cross a road safely?
To cross a road safely, follow the steps below. Give the road your full attention - do not be distracted by mobile phones, headphones or friends.
- find a safe place to cross
- stop behind the kerb
- look in all directions
- listen - bikes and electric cars are quiet
- wait for emergency vehicles to pass - they can move at speed
- only cross when it is safe to do so - do not take any risks
Cycling to school
Ask your school if they have cycle facilities and what locks you may need.
Plan your route and look for any new cycle routes across the city.
Check your bike is roadworthy and your helmet is a good fit. Do you have a bell, bright clothes to be seen in daylight and reflective clothes to be seen in the dark?
If you travel in the dark you must, by law, have lights and reflectors on your bike. This includes:
- a white light on front
- a red light on back
- a white reflector on the front and a red reflector on the back
- orange reflectors on the pedal
For further advice visit bikeability.org.uk where you find information on free cycle training sessions and a parents handbook to download.
Driving to school
Passengers must wear a seat belt and the law states you must be on a booster seat until the age 12 or when you are 135cms tall, whichever comes first.
Get in an out of a car on the pavement side when possible - if it's not possible, be sure to check no vehicles are passing before you open the door.
Encourage drivers to park in a safe legal place for the safety of other pupils. Think about 'Park and Stride' - parking further away from the school and walking the last 5 or 10 minutes. This will help reduce the traffic and pollution near school.
Plan an alternative travel option for when there is no-one to drop or pick you up from school by car.
Getting to school via public transport
Keep up to date with the times of buses and trains - when you start school in September advice may have changed.
Never cross in front or behind a bus or large vehicle as you cannot be seen by the driver or passing motorists.
Be sensible at a bus stop or train platform and always be considerate to all other passengers and road users. Due to Covid-19 take extra measures:
- always wear a face mask on the bus, train or ferry
- leave plenty of time and check timetables and changes to services
- buy your tickets in advance to avoid queues
- pay by contactless methods where possible
- maintain 2m social distancing wherever possible and be patient
- avoid touching surfaces, your face, and wash your hands before and after your journey
- be kind and respectful to transport staff
The Merseyside Road Safety Partnership also provides information on road safety after lockdown for all road users.