Early years educators across the country are being urged to take part in a national Beep Beep! Day on Wednesday 20 November. The event, coordinated by Brake the road safety charity, helps to teach children road safety basics and remind parents and drivers of their responsibility to help protect children when driving.
Each week, on average, eight children under the age of ten are injured on NZ roads . Beep Beep! Days provide an opportunity to engage children, parents and the community in road safety messages, helping to save young lives and reduce injuries.
Anyone working with two to seven year-old children can hold a Beep Beep! Day at their school or centre. The day involves running creative, educational activities using guidance and resources from Brake, such as creating a poster of hand prints to remind children and parents to hold hands, playing the 'Belt up' game to learn about child seats, singing road safety songs and baking traffic light biscuits. The activities teach young children the road safety basics and encourage parents to consider some vital steps they can take to keep their family safe. Organisations taking part can also raise funds in support of Brake's work campaigning for safer roads and supporting bereaved and injured crash victims.
Brake is encouraging early years educators to sign up for the national day, or to hold Beep Beep! on another day of their choice, and to access Brake's free resources to help them to run activities.
Caroline Perry, Brake's NZ director said: "Organising a Beep Beep! Day is a fun, simple way to teach young children the road safety basics, plus it's great for persuading parents and everyone in the area that protecting children on roads is vital. Brake provides resources and activity plans to help you run a great Beep Beep! Day and get the road safety message out. We're calling on anyone who works with two to seven year-olds to register to be part of this life-saving initiative."
Advice for parents
When your child starts to walk with you around your community, talk to them about how they must always hold your hand. Hold hands until your child is at least eight, or longer depending on their development.
Make sure they understand the meaning of stop, traffic, danger, look, listen, walk don't run, and other key words. Encourage your child's school or kindergarten to teach road safety through a Beep Beep! Day. Your child's learning will be more effective if they are taught about road safety at school as well as at home.
 Road User Casualties (part 1), Annual Crash Statistics, Ministry of Transport, 2018