Medway pupils learn the importance of seatbelts

12.00 | 20 July 2012 |

More than 1,000 schoolchildren across Medway have learned about the importance of wearing seatbelts on all journeys from Medway Council’s road safety team.

The team has visited 15 schools since May in an effort to highlight why it is so important to ‘clunk click’ on every journey.

Safer Journeys Officers gave presentations to schoolchildren about wearing a seatbelt, and each student was then given the opportunity to experience a crash on the ‘seatbelt sled’ at 5-7mph, while buckled up.

Officers also took the opportunity to explain why, on average, one third of pupils sometimes do not wear their seatbelt. The most common reasons given are that “it is uncomfortable” or that belts are not work “when we travel short distances”.

Su Ormes, Medway’s principal road safety officer, said: “You are more likely to crash on a short journey and if a child’s seatbelt is not comfortable this must be addressed. Given that seatbelts are designed to fit an adult – it may be that a child still requires a booster seat for it to be correctly positioned across their collar bone and over the tops of their thighs.

“We welcome the pupils’ honesty. The most effective way we learn and change our behaviour is by first-hand experience. We hope that by providing the children with the seatbelt sled experience, in a safe and controlled environment, they will take responsibility for buckling up every time they get in a car.”

Wendy Riddington, deputy headteacher of Woodlands Primary School, said: “Thank you to the road safety team for organising the seatbelt sled activity for our years 5 and 6. The talk and activity was very interesting and thought-provoking and certainly gave the children (and staff) a clear message about their responsibilities.”

For more information contact Anna Hinde on 01634 332736.


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