Road safety is a great subject in which to engage children and young people. It's a subject even the youngest children know something about because everyone uses roads, and road danger impacts on everyone. It's also a vitally important subject. Road crashes are a major cause of death and injury among the young, with the risk rising as children reach secondary school age and have more independence, and young drivers and passengers facing significant risks. Danger from traffic is also a big factor in whether children and young people are able to walk and cycle to school, to the park or to see friends, and therefore their ability to be healthy and socially active.
Below are some guidelines on teaching road safety for children and young people in age groups from age 2 to 18, and some ideas for lessons and activities, including some that can be run in assemblies or citizenship lessons, and some that can be incorporated into subjects like Maths, Science, Drama and English.
Click on the links below to browse our road safety teaching advice and ideas for different age groups, and go to our resources page to download activity sheets, interactive games and other resources you can use to help make road safety an interesting and engaging topic.
- Before you start
- What to teach: age-appropriate messages
- Early years: age 2-5 teaching ideas
- Primary: age 5-7 teaching ideas
- Primary and intermediate: age 7-11 teaching ideas
- Intermediate and secondary: age 11-14 teaching ideas
- Secondary: age 14-18 teaching ideas
- Children with special educational needs (SEN)
Road safety policies and safe school trips
Comprehensive road safety policies that cover the safety of the students when on school property, and when on school trips, are vitally important. They help keep the children in your care safe, and ensure that the school is fulfilling its duty of care to students. Browse the links below for Brake's guidance on school road safety policies and safe school trips and travel.
- A road safety policy for your school/nursery
- Organising trips on foot safely
- Safe school bus and coach transport
- School travel plans
Pedestrian and cycle training
Practical pedestrian and cycle training for children is an effective way to teach safe walking and cycling skills to children, reinforcing the road safety lessons learnt in the classroom, and giving the children the opportunity to put them into practice.
Some local councils offer pedestrian and/or cycle training to schools, so you should contact them in the first instance. You can use Brake's advice on pedestrian and cycle training alongside any training and resources your local council offers.
Campaign for safer streets in your community
Schools can make a huge difference to road safety in their areas, and therefore to children and other local residents' lives, by joining or taking the lead on campaigns for safer streets. Such campaigns can be especially powerful if they are led by or heavily involve the children themselves. This can be of great benefit to the children, by empowering them and giving them a voice in their community, and by creating a great combination of classroom teaching and active campaigning: one of the most effective ways to engage children with road safety messages. Such campaigns can help raise wider awareness about road safety, particularly the importance of drivers protecting children, and can contribute to local councils introducing improved road safety measures in the area. For guidance on road safety campaigning in the community, see our community campaign guide.
Brake events for educators
Brake runs a range of events and programmes to support and encourage schools and communities to teach, promote and campaign on road safety. Sign up to take part in any of these events and you'll get free resources to help you, as well as a great opportunity to get life-saving messages across:
Road Safety Week: an annual road safety event and campaign, and an ideal time to teach road safety and campaign for safer streets
Beep Beep! Day: a fun day to help childcare centres, schools and parents/carers teach
2-7 year olds the road safety basics.
Wear Your Stripes Day: a dress down day with a difference where everyone comes to
school dressed like our mascot Zak the Zebra. Kids and teachers can swap their school
uniform for fun, bright, stripy clothes in exchange for a donation to Brake.
Community campaign support: use our community campaign guide for information on
campaigning for road safety measures in your local area.