Educators urged to help ‘look out for kids’ in Road Safety Week 2015

Road Safety Week 2015 takes place 4-10 May, and teachers and child-carers are encouraged to sign up and plan activities. Brake, the road safety charity, which coordinates the week with the support of sponsor QBE Insurance, is calling on educators to help save young lives and raise awareness of key road safety messages by taking part.

Road Safety Week is a great opportunity for teachers, youth workers, and early learning educators to engage pupils of all ages 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.

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

There are also ideas for taking part in the Week on the website, and links to useful resources from other organisations, such as the NZ Transport Agency's education portal.

Every year Brake picks a theme to focus on through its Road Safety Week media campaign. Educators can choose to run their initiative on this theme or any other road safety topic, according to their priorities.

Brake's main theme for 2015 is 'Look out for kids'. Brake will be appealing to everyone to look out for some of our most vulnerable road users, children, and help to keep them safe on roads. We're particularly calling on drivers to protect children by slowing down around schools and in communities and keeping their full attention on the task of driving.

Children make mistakes, they don't understand risks as well as adults, but they don't deserve to lose their life or be seriously injured because of it.

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.

Primary educators can hold a Giant Walk during the Week, where students walk in the community to remind drivers to slow down outside schools and homes and encourage safe walking to school.

Secondary educators can challenge their students to devise their own road safety campaign as part of the Week and share it with their peers, teachers, parents and community.

Teachers and child-carers can also make their Road Safety Week activities a sponsored event in aid of Brake, helping the charity to continue its work promoting road safety, and develop its services supporting families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Ideas are available at www.brake.org.nz/fundraise.

Caroline Perry, Brake's NZ Director said: Road safety is a critical issue, and educators can play a pivotal role in helping reduce the risks children, families and young people face - by teaching road safety, but also by raising awareness locally and encouraging drivers to slow down in your community.

There are endless options for getting involved, whether it's teaching children about being bright and seen and paying attention to the road; educating teenagers about the dangers of speeding when driving and how to be a responsible passenger; or campaigning for local drivers to slow down outside your school or centre. The Brake website has ideas and case studies schools can draw on for inspiration; fill in our registration form and we'll send you an e-action pack with guidance and downloadable posters to help you take part.

Val Graham, marketing & communications manager at QBE said: "At QBE, we firmly believe that we have a responsibility to be a good corporate citizen in the communities in which we operate. This is one of the reasons that QBE Insurance in New Zealand is now in its fourth year of support for Brake and Road Safety Week. QBE sees the week as a great way to stimulate commitment - both personal and corporate - to road safety, and we are very pleased to continue with this community initiative."

Road Safety Week has the support of other agencies and organisations including NZTA, ACC and NZ Police.

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