New research from the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) highlights how much parents value advice provided by road safety officers.
The survey, published to coincide with the launch of Child Safety Week (18 – 24 June), produced some findings described by CAPT’s chief executive as ‘alarming’. For example, 41% of parents interviewed said they don’t have time to even think about preventing their children from having a serious accident; and 40% said they need more advice about keeping their families safe.
When it came to providing advice, road safety officers are ranked third highest as the people parents would most like to receive advice from – after schools and GPs, but above family and friends, health visitors and fire and rescue.
The research also reveals that 69% of parents say they are exhausted by the end of the day; 60% say work pressures mean they have less time to spend with their families, and 58% say they are under more stress than their parents’ generation.
Alan Kennedy, chair of Road Safety GB, said: “It’s very pleasing to see that the advice provided by the UK’s world-class road safety officers is valued by parents.
“We have been saying for some while that it is critical that the road safety expertise we possess in this country is not swept away on a tide of austerity, and this report by CAPT confirms the importance of road safety education, training and publicity.
“Local authority road safety officers have a very wide spectrum of skills and knowledge, and we are always pleased to provide advice to parents, which is one of the reasons we publish full contact details for all road safety teams across the UK on our website. We encourage parents to contact their local road safety officer – either direct or through their school – for more information on how their child can benefit fully from an integrated programme of road safety training and awareness.”
Katrina Phillips, Child Accident Prevention Trust chief executive, said: “These findings are alarming. Work pressures and the economic downturn mean many parents now have less time to spend with their families; they’re exhausted, stressed and struggling to keep their heads above water. Child safety feels like one more thing to add to an already impossible to-do list.
“Parents need advice on easy ways to prevent serious accidents, so they can stay on top of safety despite all the competing pressures they face. Road safety officers are a well positioned to provide this support and are obviously seen as a good source of advice by parents.”
Child Safety Week provides a platform for local practitioners to engage with parents about the risks of serious accidents and the small steps families can take to keep children safer.
For more information contact Pam Prentice, from CAPT, on 020 7608 3828.