By Jeremy Rochow
Published: Monday, November 23, 2020
Street Smart Preschool, which launched at Baden Pattinson Kindergarten last Monday to coincide with National Road Safety Week, aims to educate youngsters about road safety.
RAA was prompted to launch the program after an increasing number of children aged under 5 were injured in road crashes last year.
State Government statistics analysed by RAA revealed 125 youngsters were victims of road trauma in 2019 – up from 85 in 2009.
From 2009 to 2019, 19 youngsters lost their lives to road trauma and 84 suffered serious injuries, while a further 921 received medical treatment.
RAA’s Senior Manager for Community Engagement Ben Haythorpe said these statistics showed why it’s never too early to speak to young children about road safety.
“Young people can be especially vulnerable on our roads, so it’s crucial we equip them with the road skills and knowledge they need to stay safe around traffic,” Mr Haythorpe said.
“Parents should make youngsters aware of the dangers of the road and should be good role models for their children when it comes to their own behaviour.”
RAA’s Street Smart Preschool program is part of its long-term commitment to road safety.
The program’s first lesson was held at Baden Pattinson Kindergarten, with car crash survivor Holly Scott reading a specially produced road safety picture book titled Yippee! to the children.
Each child who attends a Street Smart Preschool lesson will receive a copy of Yippee! This will help reinforce the safety lessons learnt through the program and spark conversations at home with family members.
Street Smart Preschool lessons run for 30 minutes and are delivered by RAA Street Smart teachers in collaboration with kindergarten teachers.
Children are taught to stop, look, listen and think, and to always hold a grown-up’s hand before crossing the road.
Lessons also incorporate a virtual pedestrian crossing, with children encouraged to watch and sing along to a road-safety video, and to complete a jigsaw which highlights key safety messages.