An innovative new partnership between the THINK! child road safety campaign and four football clubs was launched today by Road Safety Minister Mike Penning.
Blackburn Rovers, Sunderland, West Bromwich Albion and Leeds United will use their after-school clubs and activities in schools and on match days to help youngsters learn about road safety with THINK!'s Tales of the Road materials.
The new initiative will focus on helping six to 11-year-olds learn how to find safe places to cross the road after evidence showed that this is a key factor in helping children stay safe on the roads.
Mike Penning said:
"Britain’s roads are among the safest in the world but last year more than 1,600 children were killed or seriously injured - that's 31 children every week.
"We need to think of new ways to reach children and make sure that they are given the skills they need to keep themselves safe on the roads as they grow up and gain independence.
"That is why I am delighted to announce that THINK! is teaming up with four top football clubs to help get the message across through community work, after-school clubs, match day activities, competitions and other work. I hope that this scheme will see more children gain in knowledge and confidence so that we will see fewer tragedies on the roads."
The clubs taking part in the new pilot project are all based in regions where there are higher than average casualty numbers for children aged six to 11. This work will be supported by local road safety officers and council road safety programmes.
In addition, THINK! will distribute exercise books with road safety activities to primary schools across the country in January 2011.
Notes to editors
1. The safe place to cross toolkit will be available on the Tales of the Road website (http://talesoftheroad.direct.gov.uk/grownups.php) along with other resources, for wider community groups to get involved (eg youth clubs) and support the campaign.
2. The data informing this campaign showed “crossing road masked by stationary or parked vehicle” and “failed to look properly” are among the biggest contributory factors reported for child (6-11s) pedestrian KSIs. It was such insight that guided our decision to prioritise the Safe Place to Cross message.
3. Road casualty statistics can be found in Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2009:http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/statistics/datatablespublications/accidents/casualtiesgbar/rrcgb2009
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