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As your son or daughter moves through secondary school, he or she will be starting to make more and more independent journeys as a pedestrian, as a cyclist or on public transport, for example:
- to and from school
- outings with friends, e.g. to the cinema
- visiting friends' houses
- going shopping with friends.
They need to be able to assess the risks and take positive actions to make their journey as safe as possible.
Talk to your son or daughter about the safest way to make a journey. Encourage them to think about it before starting the journey and be prepared for unexpected things. You could ask:
- What route will you take, and where are the road hazards?
- Can changing the route make it less risky? For example, walking to crossings rather than taking short cuts.
- What are the times and costs of any public transport?
- What would you do if something unusual happened? Think about if:
- you missed your bus
- your lift did not turn up
- bad weather means there is poor visibility for road users
- it is dark and the batteries for your bicycle lights have gone flat
- a friend suggests taking a shortcut across a busy main road with no pedestrian crossing.
You could complete this Journey planner (PDF 710KB) - new window with your son or daughter, to plan their route to school or a work experience location. Point out that while it isn't realistic to do a written risk assessment for every journey, they should get into the habit of doing this sort of planning in their heads.
Q: My daughter is very influenced by her peers. She is about to start making her own way to school and I'm worried about her safety. How can I make sure she makes the right decisions and stays as safe as possible?
A: Talk to her about the scenarios above, perhaps when you are out and about on the roads. Point out potentially risky situations and ask her to help you both be safer by pointing out the risks herself, and telling you why she thinks it's important. This should help give her the confidence to make better choices on the roads.
As with all the advice in this section, setting a good example is very important so make sure you follow the advice yourself.
Travel South Yorkshire Website
Road Safety in Secondary Schools