A new road safety app developed by Road Safety Scotland and aimed at children aged 8-11 years has been downloaded more than 17,000 times since it was launched just over a week ago.
In Scotland, pedestrian casualties continue to be a serious problem, with 464 child pedestrian casualties in 2013 alone. Children aged 8-11 years are one of the most vulnerable groups with injuries commonly resulting from crossing the road close to home or school, as the capacity to make judgements regarding speed and distance are not yet fully developed at this age.
The app, ‘KLANG: The Road Home’, uses gaming technology to get across road safety messages. It comes at a time when online behaviour among children and young people is growing and evolving. Road Safety Scotland says around 12% of children aged 8-11 years own a mobile device and over a third use it regularly.
In the game the alien robot Klang crash lands on earth from the planet Fendaar in a nearby galaxy. He needs help to safely navigate the busy streets to find the missing parts for his ship before making his way home, all the while avoiding discovery by rogue detection officers.
Victoria Dolatowska, headteacher at Southwood Primary School in Glenrothes, Fife, where the app was launched, said: "The children were really impressed with the app. They went home and downloaded it right away and have been testing it out with siblings and parents.
“The KLANG character and great graphics seem to have captured their interest and engaged them, which is key in any successful learning.”
Mairi Blair, assistant director at Road Safety Scotland, said: "I am delighted this fun and interactive way for kids to learn important road safety messages has been such a hit.
“I enjoyed trying KLANG out for myself and I am sure teachers and the young people it is aimed at will find this a useful classroom tool.”