Childcare centres and schools around NZ are taking part in national Beep Beep! Day today, Wednesday 21 November, with over 6,500 children learning about key road safety messages.
Beep Beep! Day, coordinated by road safety charity Brake, engages 2-7 year olds with the road safety basics through fun activities, while raising awareness among parents and the wider community about protecting children on roads.
As part of the day children learn about key road safety messages such as using a child seat when in the car, holding hands when walking near roads, and wearing a helmet when cycling or on a scooter. The day also crucially helps to raise awareness with parents and the local community of these messages, and looking out for children when they are around roads and travelling to/from schools and childcare centres.
Each week, on average, seven 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, reminding parents and drivers of their responsibility to help protect children when driving, and helping to save young lives and reduce injuries.
Caroline Perry, Brake's NZ director said: "All children have the right to live a safe and healthy life, but they need parents, drivers and the wider community to help protect them. A properly fitted, approved child seat offers much more protection in the event of a crash than a seat belt alone so we urge all parents to use child seats until your children are 148cm tall. The Beep Beep! Day project engages children in key road safety messages, helping them to learn about road safety issues and, crucially, inspiring their parents and local drivers to reduce danger on our roads and help protect children."
Anyone working with two to seven year-old children can hold a Beep Beep! Day. 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 the vital steps they need to take to keep their family safe. Children taking part can also raise funds in support of Brake's work campaigning for safer roads and supporting bereaved and injured crash victims.
 Table 5, Section 2: Crashes and casualties, Motor vehicle crashes in New Zealand for 2016, Ministry of Transport, 2017