Keeping our kids safe on the roads this holidays.
Each year we partner with the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation for their “It’s Holiday Time” campaign, promoting child pedestrian safety, with a focus on the school holiday period.
This year we have offered a FREE Holiday Time Safety Education Session for your school. We are now fully booked for 2023 but you can submit an expression of interest for a session in 2024. To find out more visit our Schools program page.
Grab your FREE copy of 'Tom's Holiday'
We’re providing free copies of this picture book from the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation to help your children and students learn how to be safe on the roads this holiday time.
Offer available to registered Preschools and Primary Schools in the Port Macquarie-Hastings region caring for 10 or more children.
More about Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation
The ‘Holiday Time’ road safety program aims to reduce child pedestrian injuries and fatalities, with road trauma still the most common cause of death for Australian children (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare). The program reminds children and their carers to hold hands near roads and around our busy areas, and reminds drivers to take care and be alert for kids – when driving during busy holiday periods.
During the holiday period we place signage at popular holiday locations and areas with increased child pedestrian activity such as parks, beaches and shopping centres. The sign’s messages remind parents and children to hold hands near roads and for drivers to slow down and be aware of children in the area. These locations present an increased risk as children can be prone to excitement and unpredictability in a millisecond, especially when about to engage in fun recreational activities with family and friends.
Roads are complex and ever-changing environments making them difficult places for children to navigate safely. Children under 10 are at an increased risk of injury near roads, driveways and car parks due to cognitive, physical and perceptual limitations. These limitations include:
Eyesight: Children are unable to identify safe places to cross and rely heavily on visual cues to determine their behaviour. Their peripheral vision is not fully developed until their optic nerves have matured in their teenage years. Education and exposure to the traffic environment has been proven to dramatically increase a child’s ability to use their peripheral vision.
Cognitive limitations: Children are unable to cope with sudden changes, they are easily distracted and tend to focus on only one aspect within a complex roadway environment. They also have much slower reflexes than adults, making stopping immediately more difficult, as the brain tries to process information and co-ordinate with the body to completely halt when asked.
Height: Lack of height means children are limited in their abilities to assess the roadway in its entirely and correctly judge the changing traffic environment to make safe choices.
Hearing: Children are unable to accurately predict the origins of sound and are limited in using sound as a measurement of distances from objects, such as moving vehicles.
Children also rely heavily on visual cues to determine the road edge. In urban areas there is usually a clearly defined road edge such as a curb or gutter along with signs or railings. In a lot of popular holiday locations such as beaches and parks, the road edge is less clearly defined and grass or sand may join directly with the road. In these environments it is increasingly difficult for a child to determine where the median strip ends and the road begins.
For parents and carers, it is important to hold the hand of children when near roads, driveways and parking lots and to have conversations with children about how to behave near roadways. For drivers it is important to slow down and be vigilant of children at all times, but especially during holiday periods and when driving near popular holiday hot spots as children can react impulsively and are still learning to anticipate driver behaviour and identify safe crossing locations.
Information sourced from the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation and “Tom’s Holiday” book by Michelle McLaughlin.