The New Zealand Transport Agency have put together a handy guide for parents and caregivers to help teach children about staying safe on roads. We have shared an excerpt of the walking section below.
Teach your child about how to be safe when walking alone or with others.
- Go to the roadside near your home and kneel down so you are the same height as your child.
- Ask your child what they can actually see or hear from their point of view.
- Children can’t judge traffic and may not be thinking about what they are doing right then – like trying to cross the road safely.
Teach your child how to do the following (and explain why they need to):
- Walk on the footpath, close to the houses and away from the road.
- Look and listen for traffic at driveways (some driveways are difficult to see).
- Use pedestrian crossings or cross at traffic signals, wherever possible.
- Take care in car parks, school drop-off/pick-up points or busy shopping areas with lots of traffic.
- Walk facing oncoming traffic on roads where there are no footpaths.
- Share the footpath with others, including skaters, scooters, wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
If there are no crossings or traffic signals, talk about and show your child how to:
- Find a safe place to cross.
- Always use the kerb drill.
Teach your child to watch for vehicles.
If a vehicle is blocking the footpath, show them the following steps:
- Check inside the vehicle to see if there’s a driver.
- If you can see a driver, stop a couple of metres away and wait to see if they are going to move.
- If you can’t see a driver, look and listen for signs the vehicle may move soon, for example:
- exhaust fumes
- reverse lights
- engine noise.
If there’s no driver in the car and the engine isn’t running, walk around the vehicle on the house side.
If there’s no room on the house side, walk carefully around on the road side, looking and listening for traffic from all directions. Or go back and find a safe place to cross the road using the kerb drill.
- Take one step back from the kerb.
- Look and listen for traffic coming from all directions.
- If there is traffic coming, wait until it has passed and then look and listen for traffic again.
- If there is no traffic coming, walk quickly straight across the road.
- While crossing, look and listen for traffic, wherever it may come from.
Download the full guide at > Hike it, Bike it, Scoot it, Skate it.