Educators are being encouraged to take part in Road Safety Week 2020 (4-10 May), which involves hundreds of schools and childcare centres running road safety activities each year to help raise awareness of road safety issues and save the lives of children and young people.
This year the week will focus on how design-led solutions can prevent people dying or being seriously injured on roads. In 2018, 828 children under the age of 15 and 1,893 young people aged 15-19 were killed or injured on NZ roads . That’s an average of 52 children and young people - more than a classroom full - dying or suffering injuries as a result of road crashes every week.
Road safety charity Brake, which coordinates the event, is encouraging everyone who works with children to go to www.roadsafetyweek.org.nz/educators for ideas and to register for a free online action pack (available from March). This will include assembly slides, interactive resources, activity sheets, advice and case studies showing how other schools have got involved in previous years.
This year's Road Safety Week, coordinated with the support of Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, and sponsored by QBE Insurance, has the theme 'Step up for Safe Streets'. The Week will focus on how everyone can 'step up' and do their bit for road safety. There will be an emphasis on encouraging people to learn about, shout about and celebrate the design solutions that can enable everyone to get around in a safe and healthy way, every day. Educators can choose to run their initiative on this theme or any other road safety topic, according to their priorities.
Brake is encouraging educators to get involved by helping young people step up and learn how to create a safe and healthy future. Everyone who registers will have access to resources which support projects, lessons and workshops. These include whole-school assembly slides, fact sheets and activity sheets that explore how designing safer roads and vehicles prevent crashes. Pupils and students will be able to create and make their own road safety posters, videos and plays, explore whether streets are safe near them and look at whether changes in vehicle and road designs have made journeys safer and healthier.
Road Safety Week has been inspiring young people for nine years and is a great chance for teachers, youth workers and early-years educators to engage pupils of all ages in lessons and activities encouraging safe and responsible road use. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to get important messages home to parents and the wider community.
Caroline Perry, Brake's NZ Director said: "We believe it’s everyone’s human right to be able to get around in a safe and healthy way every day. Children and young people are still being killed and injured on our roads, so this Road Safety Week we want everyone to "Step up for Safe Streets" and learn about, shout about and celebrate the amazing design-led solutions that can help us end this suffering and create a safe and healthy future for all.
"Educators are pivotal in getting these vital messages out to families, young people and local drivers and making a difference to people’s lives. Hundreds of pre-schools, schools and colleges get involved in Road Safety Week every year, by running lessons, projects, fundraisers and local awareness campaigns for safer streets. I would encourage anyone who hasn’t already registered to head to www.roadsafetyweek.org.nz/action-pack and sign up now for their free action pack."
Activities by age group
This year Brake is encouraging early years educators to hold a Beep Beep! Day with Timmy Time, 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 6 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.
 Annual road crash statistics – Road user casualties, Ministry of Transport, 2019