‘Safe Places to Cross’ scenario latest addition to Hazard Alley

12.00 | 27 February 2017 | | 5 comments

A road safety centre in Milton Keynes has developed a new ‘Safe Places to Cross’ scenario in an effort to encourage children to use underpasses and other safe crossing places.

The new addition to the ‘Hazard Alley Safety Centre’ has been funded by Milton Keynes Council, who says child fatalities on the city’s grid roads prompted them to think about how to better educate young people.

Alongside the funding, the council is also providing subsidised visits to the Safety Centre for local primary school children in years five and six.

Since its launch in 1994, the Safety Centre has delivered road safety education to more than 300,000 children. The centre is the result of collaboration between Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service and Thames Valley Police, and creates a partnership between local government and health authorities, and the private sector.

The new facility includes a touchscreen, donated by Clevertouch – a range of interactive touchscreens distributed by technology company Sahara Presentation Systems – who has also provided training and support in developing on-screen learning activities for the children to use.

The screen allows the children to swipe and group pictures of crossing places into safe and unsafe as well as drawing their own safe routes from home to school on a map.

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Cllr Liz Gifford, Milton Keynes Council’s cabinet member for public realm, said: “I am delighted to see this new road safety section opening at the Safety Centre.

“It’s so important to educate everybody about road safety, particularly school children as they often walk or cycle to school on a daily basis.

“By giving them the right message now about road safety they can keep themselves and others safe when out and about.”

Jo Green, director of the Safety Centre, said: “This new area teaches children how to cross and be safe near roads.

“The children who come here enjoy learning about safety through discussion, role play and practical activities.

“Responses from our young visitors have been very positive so far.”

The Safety Centre is officially launching its new ‘Safe Places to Cross’ area on Wednesday 29 March (3-6pm) with a tour and demonstration of the facility. A  Clevertouch education specialist will also demonstrate how the screens can be used in a classroom setting.

Click here for more information and to book a place at the launch.




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    Rod’s message in his middle para should also extend to all vulnerable road users, not just children: adult pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders etc. The operators of faster moving vehicles should assume ultimate responsibilty for the safety of the slower moving, vulnerable road users in their immediate vicinity.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Let’s also not forget that children of primary school age cannot be relied upon to identify the speed of vehicles travelling above 20mph.

    I am all in favour of giving them skills to enable their independent mobility, but ultimately it is the adults in motor vehicles who must take responsibility in the proximity of children.

    Perhaps we all “totally agree that it is essential to instil in drivers that children cannot always be trusted to act in the way they ought to.”

    Rod King, Warrington, Cheshire, 20’s Plenty for Us
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    Thanks for the explanation – it sounds like you are doing a great job.

    David, Suffolk
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    Thank you, we totally agree that it is essential to instil in children that drivers cannot always be trusted to act in the way they ought to.

    At the Safety Centre in MK we deliver this message strongly through several ‘life size’ road safety scenarios. These include a Puffin crossing in which a driver is distracted and doesn’t stop at a red light. The children are shown the stopping distance of a car travelling at 30mph along our road and the effect of weather conditions and speeding on this distance.

    Other driver distractions are discussed such as mobile phones, changing music, turning around etc. We also discuss the dangers of children not paying attention when crossing roads due to headphones, mobile phones etc…

    A zebra crossing with a stationary full size lorry cab is used to illustrate driver blind spots and the importance of waving to the driver to ensure they have been seen before crossing.

    Our message is that some places are ‘safer’ than others, but that it is essential to be aware of the ongoing risks whenever crossing a road.

    For further information and images please visit our website: http://www.safetycentre.co.uk

    The Safety Centre Milton Keynes
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    I don’t wish to pick holes in someone’s praiseworthy project, but I feel that it is important to emphasise to young pedestrians that there is no such thing as a ‘safe place’ to cross a road. Obviously there are some places that are better than others, and choosing a better place is a skill that Year 5 & 6 children sometimes fail in. This facility works on enhancing those skills, and is an exciting development. However, even when they have chosen something like a Zebra, or Puffin, crossing it is vital that they still play a part in managing their risk by not trusting drivers to do the things they ought to do. They need to remember that some drivers will be speeding, on the phone, have defective eyesight, etc., so they must use appropriate skills to control those problems. I sometimes worry about the implications of them learning that some places are safe, when in reality we ought to be telling them that they are just less dangerous.

    David, Suffolk
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