Schools failing pupils over pedestrian training

14.20 | 25 March 2019 | | 10 comments

Approximately half of schoolchildren aged 6-11 years have not received any form of pedestrian safety training in the past 12 months, a new survey suggests.

Published on 20 March, 49% of parents who responded to the RoSPA-commissioned survey said their children have not had any road safety guidance.

The survey also highlights a ‘strong desire’ among parents for more road safety lessons, with 61% wanting to see more practical pedestrian training being given to their children.

The latest DfT figures show that 1,269 children were killed or seriously injured as pedestrians on UK roads in 2017.

RoSPA says the figure ‘demonstrates the need for further pedestrian safety training targeted at minors’.

Nick Lloyd, RoSPA’s acting head of road safety, said: “Our survey has highlighted a clear need for more road safety training to be delivered to primary school-aged children, especially when considering the level of child road injury rates.

“If we are to truly empower our children and their parents to commit to cleaner, active travel and healthier lifestyles, we have to make sure they feel safe.”

RoSPA has also unveiled a suite of free downloadable resources – designed to help schools in circumstances where there is no local road safety officer support available.

The resources, available to download from the RoSPA website, provide advice and information on how to organise pedestrian training for pupils in school years three and four.

Nick Lloyd added: “The best way to teach children the road safety skills they need is to deliver real-world, practical lessons, so we have designed a suite of resources for teachers to enable them to do this.

“We want every child to have the opportunity to learn how to be a safe pedestrian.”



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    My eldest daughter received pedestrian training in Year 3 and she’s now in year 7. We walked to primary school and with the training and myself reinforcing that, I felt confident she’d be ok walking the mile to high school which involved crossing many roads including one with 40mph speed limit.

    My youngest daughter is now in year 3 and when I approached the Council to ask about pedestrian training, the answer was no due to the school not being in a targeted area (i.e. no accident issues, no air pollution issues) which is really disappointing and there doesn’t seem any alternative to provide this provision.

    The school will still do bikeability as it has funding, so it does make you wonder should Government provide pedestrian training as they stated in their Future of Mobility report “walking, cycling and active travel must remain the best option for short urban journeys”.

    Agree (2) | Disagree (0)


    I would be interested to know what reduction in casualties do you find from children receiving your Kerbcraft training. Are the results long lasting? Does it continue into their teens?



    Rod King, Warrington
    Agree (0) | Disagree (1)

    As a child growing up in the 1960’s I was taught my ‘kerb drill’ every morning on my walk to school.
    As a road safety officer I now train in children pedestrian safety in both Year 2 with simple Stop Look Listen Think and then again in Year 5 using some of the elements from Kerbcraft. As I explain to the children some drivers don’t always do what they are supposed to do but they ( the driver)have the protection of a metal shell around them and the children don’t.

    Jan Brabin
    Agree (5) | Disagree (0)

    Charles in a word – ‘no’ or in two words ‘no chance’…. of this idea of yours gaining any real traction. Still, I like the concept of your vision of road user equality for a brave new world but not in this one.

    Pat, Wales
    Agree (7) | Disagree (2)

    The problem with this is, that the training tends to reinforce the (mistaken) belief that children *have* to kowtow to motor traffic. This comes back to bite the next generation of children when the present one become motorists – and assert what they were taught as children – that motorists have de-facto priority over pedestrians on the highway!

    Surely a better model would be to teach children that they have *exactly* the same priority as motorists to use the roads, and that they should expect to be able to cross roads when, and where they like. Sure they need to establish eye-contact with drivers *before* stepping into the road, but they should expect drivers to give way to them if they make their intention to cross very clear.

    Charles, Wells
    Agree (3) | Disagree (11)

    We consider Kerbcraft pedestrian training for primary school age children extremely important. And knowledge of the training is retained for years as we see/hear when teaching pupils in preparation for the move to secondary school.

    Pat, Wales
    Agree (10) | Disagree (0)

    Does not seem to be any mention for the responsibility of parent to undertake this as well.

    Why don’t parents just drop kids off at school at 4 and pick them up at 18 offload all responsibility to overworked teachers.

    Agree (14) | Disagree (0)

    There comes a point when roads get so busy that they become a barrier to people crossing them, it is why Highways England have guidance (IAN 195) which says for all of their roads where the average daily traffic volumes are more than 8,000-10,000 (depending on the speed limit of the road) that they should be provide a bridge or underpass as a preference, with a fallback position of traffic signal control.

    Yet school children on the way to school can be required to cross much busier roads with less assistance. This leads to parents driving their children to school, making the roads busier and more polluted (just look at how much less congested the roads are when the schools are off).

    Maybe it’s time that the rules were consistent for all, so that crossing provision is provided before roads are so busy that no one crosses them.

    Graham, Hampshire
    Agree (0) | Disagree (4)

    So, rather than concentrating on getting the motorist to avoid children and all the other slower-moving, more vulnerable road users, we prefer to educate the latter group on how to avoid being a victim.

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (6) | Disagree (9)


    Research seems to show that there is a perceptual judgement/motor skills problem with children under 14.

    Can this be taught or do we need to change the environment so that adults can take responsibility for protecting them?

    Rod King, Warrington
    Agree (0) | Disagree (10)

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