Back to school safety tips

 Back to School Safety Tips

Thousands of students are marching back to school next month. Safekids Aotearoa has valuable safety tips to keep children safe.

For Children:

  • They’re safer in a booster seat till they’re 148cm tall. Primary school children seated in booster seats in the back seat of the car are 59% less likely to be injured in a crash than children using a seat belt alone.
  • No helmet, no brain. Wearing safety helmets when cycling, scootering or skateboarding to school is a must. For cyclists, aside from being a law, wearing a helmet reduces the risk of severe brain injury by 74%.
  • Devices down heads up when crossing the road. Avoid digital distraction—teach children to remove their earphones when crossing the road, and to stop walking if they need to use their phone.
  • Watch out for sneaky driveways. If you can’t see the driveway from the footpath, remember to stop and look to make sure there are no cars exiting the driveway.
  • Have a school travel plan. Teach children to use a safe route to school, and to be aware of dangers when walking, cycling or scootering. Closely supervise new entrants when walking to school for the first time.

For Drivers:

  • Double check intersections and crossings. A child might dart across the street when you least expect it. They are also pretty hard to see in between parked cars. Stopping at intersections and slowing down in high pedestrian traffic areas will give you time to check if your path is clear of children.
  • Slow down at school zones. 30-40kph variable speed limit zones will be operational again during school commute hours, and drivers are required to slow down when the lights are on or the signs are up. And even when they are off, be extra vigilant—an evening event or a weekend game might be on, so you still need to watch out for kids.
  • Passing school buses: Either way it’s 20kph. If a school bus has stopped the law requires you to slow down and drive at 20km/h or less until you are past it–no matter which direction you are driving.