Educators urged to #SpeakUp for road safety as part of Road Safety Week 2019

Road Safety Week 2019 takes place 6-12 May, and teachers and child-carers are being encouraged to plan activities and take advantage of free resources.

The week, which is coordinated by road safety charity Brake and supported by QBE Insurance and the NZ Transport Agency, will coincide with the UN Global Road Safety Week and will focus on leadership, with the theme Save Lives #SpeakUp. Brake is calling on educators to help save young lives and raise awareness of key road safety messages by taking part and encouraging children and young people themselves to #SpeakUp for road safety too.

Road Safety Week is a great opportunity for teachers, youth workers, and early learning educators to engage children and young people in life-saving lessons and encourage safer, more responsible road use throughout the community. It's an engaging topic with plenty of scope for creative and interactive learning, while also meeting curriculum goals.

The #SpeakUp theme encourages everyone to raise awareness of road safety issues that affect them, and the solutions that are needed in order to reduce road deaths and injuries, and make our streets safer, healthier and more liveable places to be. Educators can choose to run their initiative on this theme or any other road safety topic, according to their priorities.

Educators can access free electronic resources and guidance to help them get involved. Go to www.roadsafetyweek.org.nz/action-pack to register to get a free e-action pack. This will include downloadable posters to display during the week, activity ideas and resources, advice on taking part, and case studies of what other educators have done in previous years.

This year Brake is encouraging early years educators to hold a Beep Beep! Day, a fun road safety day that teaches key, basic road safety messages to children aged 2-7, and also engages their parents and community. The next national Beep Beep! Day takes place during Road Safety Week, on Wednesday 8 May, with childcare centres around the country taking part.

Primary and secondary educators can find lots of suggestions for activities linked to lessons on the Road Safety Week web pages, from challenging students to devise their own road safety campaign, to learning about road safety as part of science, drama or other lessons.

Brake is also encouraging fundraising as part of Road Safety Week, through Bright Days or other fundraising activities. A Bright Day involves everyone coming in dressed in their brightest clothes in return for a donation to Brake, whilst helping to remind drivers to look out for people on foot or bike. More fundraising ideas can be found at www.brake.org.nz/fundraise.

Caroline Perry, Brake’s NZ Director said: "Road safety is a crucial issue for children and parents, and educators can play a key role in helping to reduce the risks children, young people and families face - by teaching road safety and raising awareness of local issues.

"Children and young people all have ideas to contribute on the dangers of roads and solutions for making them safer. They, along with the educators supporting them, have a great opportunity through Road Safety Week to speak up about the road safety issues that affect them. Through road safety campaigns, which they can devise, they have the opportunity to explore and improve their own safety, while also meeting important curriculum goals. I urge all schools and childcare centres to register today and get your free action pack."

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