RAA carry out preschool road safety lessons to tackle road trauma

POSITIVE: RAA roll out a road safety program to the state's kindergarten children in a bid to reduce road trauma.
POSITIVE: RAA roll out a road safety program to the state's kindergarten children in a bid to reduce road trauma.

A dedicated program will be delivered to the state's kindergarten children in an effort to reduce the increasing numbers of children aged five and under being hurt in road crashes, RAA revealed.

The SA motor industry body's initiative was prompted after data revealed in the past decade, the number of young children injured or killed in road incidents in the state has alarmingly increased to about 50 per cent.

The state government figures analysed by RAA show that 85 children were victims of road trauma in 2010 - but that number jumped to 125 last year.

Tragically, in that same period, a total of 19 children lost their lives, 84 suffered serious injury and another 921 required medical treatment.

RAA's community engagement senior manager Ben Haythorpe said it's never too early to engage young ones in a conversation about road safety.

"Young children can be especially vulnerable on our roads, so it's crucial we equip them with the road skills and knowledge they need to stay safe around traffic," Mr Haythorpe said.

Furthermore, he urges parents and caregivers to make children aware of the dangers of the road environment and also be "good" role models.

"Youngsters need to be taught hold hands when crossing roads and to be properly restrained in the car.''

Mr Haythorpe said taking RAA's road safety lessons directly to kindergartens was part of its long-term commitment to road safety.

ALARMING: Data released by the state government into SA's road casualties involving children aged five and under. Photo: Supplied

ALARMING: Data released by the state government into SA's road casualties involving children aged five and under. Photo: Supplied

Currently, RAA runs safety lessons in classes as part of its Street Smart Primary program, which visited more than 180 schools in SA last financial year.

From now, RAA's safety education classes will also be offered to kindergartens across the state.

From now, kindy children will receive a 30-minute road safety lesson tailored to their age level, which an RAA 'Street Smart' teacher works collaboratively with each kindergarten teacher to deliver.

Children are taught how to "stop, look, listen and think'' and hold a grown-up's hand before crossing a road.

They also learn to safely use a "virtual'' pedestrian crossing in the classroom, watch and sing along to a road safety video and complete a jigsaw to which highlights these safety messages.

The youngsters further receive a specially produced road safety picture book entitled 'Yippee', which reinforces the safety lessons, which they can share with their family.

Kindergartens interested in booking a free Street Smart Preschool lesson can phone the Street Smart School Education Team on 8202 8214 or email at ssmart@raa.com.au

This story Child road safety lessons launch first appeared on The Murray Valley Standard.