children are killed or seriously each year when the vehicle they are travelling in is involved in crash.
years (and over) is the age when a child can be restrained in an adult seat belt or booster seat.
Child road safety programs
School Drug Education and Road Aware (SDERA), supported by the Road Safety Commission, works to help children and young people from 0 to 20 years stay safe on the roads.
- Smart Steps is an early intervention program that sets the scene for developing positive road safety attitudes and behaviours in young children.
- Challenges and Choices is a program of multi-media teaching resources for Kindergarten through to Year 10.
- Keys for Life prepares Year 10 to 12 students for safer driving. The program is an important part of the road safety strategy as young drivers are over-represented in road crash statistics each year.
- Whole School Approach recognises that all aspects of the school community can impact positively upon students' health, safety and wellbeing.
- The Changing Health Acting Together (CHAT) program offers intensive, step-by-step support to develop a best practice whole-school approach to resilience, drug and road safety education.
Children as pedestrians
Children’s vulnerability as road users is centred around their cognitive and perceptual abilities which are not fully developed until young adulthood.
Children are at risk on the roads because they:
- are small and can’t see over parked cars and can’t be seen easily by drivers.
- are energetic and have trouble stopping at corners.
- have difficulty telling which direction the where sounds are coming from.
- have trouble judging the speed of cars reliably.
- tend to focus on what is in front of them.
- may behave differently when they are out with other children, forgetting about traffic.
- may freeze if they find themselves in the path of a car, rather than jump out of the way.
- require specially fitted restraints which must be altered as they grow.
Children on driveways
One child is run over in the driveway of his or her own home every week in Australia. More than 33% of children aged under 6 killed in crashes were killed ‘off road’ in yards, car parks and driveways.
It is recommended that children are always supervised, and not left alone to play, especially when they are near parked or moving cars. Hold their hands or hold them close to keep them safe. Make access to the driveway from the house difficult for young children.
Children and other wheeled devices
Rollerskaters, skateboarders and scooter riders are legally allowed to use footpaths and shared paths. They must keep to the left and give way to pedestrians.
Scooters, rollerbladers, inline-skaters and skateboarders can use roads but only in daylight hours on local roads that do not have white lines or median islands and which have speed limits of 50 km/h or less. These road users must keep to the left.
Helmets are recommended for the safety of rollerskaters, skateboarders and scooter riders.