Bid to slash number of children injured on South Yorkshire roads

Year six pupils at Woodseats Primary were being taught about road safety and encouraged to work out what their safest way to and from their new secondary schools they will be starting out later on in the year. Maggie Naylor was leading the lesson

Year six pupils at Woodseats Primary were being taught about road safety and encouraged to work out what their safest way to and from their new secondary schools they will be starting out later on in the year. Maggie Naylor was leading the lesson

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Police have taken the drive to improve road safety for youngsters across South Yorkshire into the classroom.

Officers are visiting schools in Sheffield, Barnsley, Rotherham and Doncaster to drill home the message following news that 470 children under 16 were injured on South Yorkshire roads last year.

While there were no deaths recorded in under 16s, reducing the huge volume of accidents and near misses which occur every day is a top priority for schools and campaigners.

South Yorkshire Road Safety Partnership is drilling the message home as part of national Child Safety Week, which runs until Sunday.

Information stands with safety tips and messages are popping up at shopping malls and supermarkets across the area, while officers are also carrying out sessions with schoolchildren.

Pupils at Woodseats Primary School in Sheffield were among the first to receive a visit from police.

Year Six pupils, aged 10 to 11, were given maps to work out the safest route to their new senior school in September.

Joanne Wehrle, education manager with South Yorkshire Road Safety Partnership, said: “Fortunately, no children were killed in road traffic collisions last year, but this doesn’t mean we should be complacent - we still need to work to improve our record.”

The work follows on from the South Yorkshire Road Safety Partnership and The Star’s It’s Your Child campaign, which has spent the past year encouraging parents to behave more responsibly when dropping off and collecting children.

It is hoped the youngsters will take the lessons they learn home to parents – the campaign’s slogan invites adults to become a Road Safety hero.

Ms Wehrle said:“This week gives us a great opportunity to talk to families and children about road safety.

“We are at various venues across South Yorkshire and will be encouraging everyone to be a Road Safety Hero and to find out how they can make a real difference by keeping children safer on the roads.

“Local authorities are providing valuable road safety training for children, including pedestrian and cycle training.

“For older pupils, hard-hitting presentations and lessons will encourage pupils to think about the risks to themselves and their friends when out on the roads.”