Children and teens targeted by DfT in pre-summer holiday road safety campaign

Children's TV presenter Sam Homewood and college students are part of a multi-pronged approach by the Department for Transport to promote road safety ahead of the school summer holidays.

Sam Homewood: DfT targets school children and teenagers in road safety campaign ahead of holidays
Sam Homewood: DfT targets school children and teenagers in road safety campaign ahead of holidays

DfT has launched a double-headed campaign targeting children aged seven to 12 and teenagers aged 13 to 16, with a series of resources that include videos, games, slides and lesson plans for school teachers. 

The activity is the latest part of the DfT's THINK! road safety programme, which has been running since 1979 and launched a new phase for younger children aged three to six in November last year.   

CiTV presenter Sam Homewood is fronting the new ‘stop, look, listen, think’ campaign to get children aged seven to 12 crossing the road safely, and stars in DfT’s Road Ready: Expect the Unexpected video.

The children’s TV presenter features in the campaign's social media activity, including a video made at Holy Family school in Walthamstow, London that was shared on YouTube and Twitter. 

The campaign has been timed to launch ahead of school summer holidays when children are likely to be spending more time outdoors, with focused PR and marketing activity planned to coincide with September’s 'back to school' period and road safety week in November. 

The campaign will feature across Facebook and Pinterest @THINKroadsafety and Twitter @THINKgovuk while the free resources can be found at think.gov.uk/education. 

Although the Government’s THINK! campaigns have helped reduce child road deaths by 90 per cent since records began in 1979, a total of six children are killed and 170 are seriously injured every month on the UK’s roads.

DfT worked with education and behaviour change consultancy Hopscotch to devise the resources and campaign, following research showing that one in 20 primary schools and a third of secondary schools do not teach any road safety. 

Alongside Homewood’s work on the THINK! campaign, a series of resources have been created specifically for young people aged 13 to 16, using photos and illustrations by students from Farnborough Sixth Form College. 

The three-minute video 'It’s Cool, It’s Not Cool' features illustrations from student Apollo Petrova, while the 'See, Think, Speak' film encourages teenagers to speak up if they see their friends in a dangerous road situation.

Dawn Lauder, head of marketing at the DfT, said: "THINK! has a long and proud history of very successful road safety campaigns spanning several generations and contributing to the dramatic decline in child road deaths. 

"But we cannot be complacent, and we are always looking at new ways to keep our children safe. As more children take advantage of the better weather by walking to school or playing outside, it is important that we communicate best practice in a way that resonates with them. 

"Our new resources will make it easier than ever for schools and parents to help children learn good habits that can last a lifetime."


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