As schools closed and the academic year came to an end, Wirral Council’s Road Safety team confirm that more than 8,000 students have received education since September 2018.
These free education sessions, offered to every Wirral school, have been delivered across primary and secondary schools reaching students in Year 6, 7 and 10 as well as to college students aged 16 to 19 years.
All Wirral primary schools have been provided with road safety education for their Year 6 pupils whilst 15 out of the 20 secondary schools in Wirral accepted education sessions for their Year 7/ Year 10 students.
Road safety continues to be a priority as road traffic collisions continue to be a major cause of death among children and young people, with the risk rising as children reach secondary school and gain more independence, so education around road safety is essential and invaluable.
Danger from traffic also plays a key role in whether our children walk or cycle so the sessions educate our children on how to safely use our roads, whether that be in a vehicle, as a pedestrian or as a cyclist.
By using a range of tools such as presentations, educational videos, images and case studies, these sessions encourage student interaction through discussion.
Wirral Council Road Safety team have recently developed the resources they use in their Year 10 sessions to raise awareness of the increased risks that young people face as passengers when travelling in a vehicle with a young/novice driver and peers.
The Department for Transport’s latest research indicates that young drivers make up just 7% of the driving population but are over-represented in reported road collisions in comparison with other road users, featuring in 20% of road collisions.
The resources focus on real-life impact and consequences of road traffic collisions using videos of emergency service professionals from across Merseyside, telling their side of the story as well as hearing from a mother who lost her daughter in a collision. These sessions aim to show the importance of road safety and reach out to them in the most effective way providing further information, coping strategies and guidance on making safer choices.
The year groups of Years 6, 7, 10 as well as students ages 16-19 years are prioritised based on their age range of 11 to 19 years, and the analysis of casualty data. However, these sessions are just one part of a larger programme that adopt a ‘Shared Roads, Shared Responsibility’ approach to deliver life-long learning education, delivering sessions to pre-schools, schools, young drivers, local businesses and their employees as well as senior road users through workshops and driving assessments.
A further 1,000 young people have been provided with road safety education through sessions taught at pre-schools, libraries and scout groups.
The sessions that have been delivered to these groups have also led on to other initiatives including Kids Court sessions where children have worked with Merseyside Police and our Road Safety Team to address issues around speeding and cyclist safety with drivers.