Road Safety News
 

IAM issues ‘distracted pupils’ warning

Thursday 4th September 2014

The IAM has issued a warning to drivers to be on their guard as pupils return to school at the start of the autumn term.

The IAM says the “risk of an accident becomes significantly greater” as the return of the school run means a “20% growth in rush hour traffic”.

The IAM warns that the greater risk comes on the way home from school when “under 16s are more likely to be distracted by playing with their friends, listening to music or interacting on social media”.

The IAM points to DfT research in which 62% of respondents aged 11-16 years admitted to being distracted by talking to friends as they cross the road, and 36% of girls and 25% of boys said they were distracted by their mobile phones.

Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, said: “Technology has moved on at such a pace, it is clear that youngsters are being distracted by the myriad of portable entertainment devices available to them."

The charity has also published a series of tips to help people remain safe as the schools return, including: leaving the house five minutes earlier to avoid being in a hurry; taking extra care to compensate for the fact that children won’t always be paying attention; and never stopping on the yellow ‘zig zags’ by schools.

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It's interesting to read the comment about not stopping on the zig zags outside schools. They are only legally enforceable where there are yellow signs erected warning persons not to park or stop there at specific times. That is unless you are a number 7 bus in Blackpool which has a bus stop directly outside one of the largest Academies in the area. It actually breaks in two the zig zags... and we tell people not to stop there and yet they see a big bus doing it without question. Not more than 30 yards down the road there is another bus stop on the opposite side, actually on a corner and when both busses are stopped so does traffic and the kids weave in and out of it.
bob craven Lancs

Agree (4) | Disagree (0)
+4

Parents need educating too. Especially those who walk their children to school and feel that chatting or texting on their mobile is more important than taking care of their children near the roads. Not to mention the ones who drive their children to and from school while talking on their hand held mobiles. I'm sure we've all seen them.
Vicky, Redbridge

Agree (8) | Disagree (0)
+8

Interesting that social media has been identified as a key distractor for children yet at the Road Safety Conference speakers will be telling us how to use it to better target children with road safety messages.
Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon

Agree (9) | Disagree (5)
+4

Perhaps these dangers could be reduced if the school introduced some form of information and/or warnings in class or assembly with follow ups and written information about such dangers, so that they also may be made aware of their own responsibilities. Some proactive involvement that safety officers may already be doing, or not as the case may be.
bob craven Lancs

Agree (6) | Disagree (1)
+5