17 May 2023
National Walk Safely to School Day on Friday 19 May aims to promote the health benefits of walking and create regular walking habits.
As a parent or carer, you are encouraged to walk with your child to school and talk about the importance of being a safe road user.
Regular walking to and from school helps ease traffic congestion, promotes physical activity, and provides an opportunity to discuss safe road use with your child.
Here are the key points to remember while walking with your child:
Always hold their hand up to at least 8 years old – whether on the footpath, crossing the road, or in a carpark.
Explain the importance of being alert and looking and listening before crossing a driveway, road, or carpark.
Point out potential dangers, such as vehicles coming out of driveways.
Before crossing, discuss why the chosen crossing point is the safest place to cross the road.
Teach your child to continuously turn their head in both directions, looking and listening for traffic while crossing the road.
Assess if older children are ready to cross the road independently.
Provide plenty of supervised practice for your child in the traffic environment.
Please keep in mind that each school has its unique surrounding traffic environment, as well as specific entry and exit procedures. It is important to familiarise yourself with these details specific to your child's school.
Additionally, remember to "Stop! Look! Listen! Think!":
Stop! Take one step back from the kerb.
Look! Continuously check both ways.
Listen! Pay attention to the sounds of approaching traffic.
Think! Evaluate whether it is safe to cross.
By discussing these points with your child and being mindful of your school’s specific situation, you can make sure your child stays safe and encourages responsible road behaviour.
For more road safety tips, refer to the department’s Safe travel section.