South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership
04 Mar 2021

The view from my desk – every day’s a school day

At last schools are reopening to all pupils and I can imagine that parents everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief that home schooling is over once again. In doing so, parents are appreciating what a tough job our teachers have. But perhaps they forget that as parents, they are teaching their children new things every day and that’s why it is so important to set an example to young impressionable minds.

Road safety is a key life skill that everyone needs to learn and from the earliest age parents are in charge of teaching their children good habits that will last a life time; from always wearing a seat belt, to the correct kerbside drill when crossing the road, how to ride a bike safely or have a positive attitude to driving. Parents are their child’s best teacher; they trust you, look up to you, want to copy you. So be a good role model and help them to get a good grounding in the basics of road safety. We’ve loads of resources and fun activities to help you with this task on our website. So, as well as advice on how to teach them road safety skills, we’ve combined this with some rainy-day road safety activities to get little ones away from the screen for a while and engaging their creative minds.

As children start returning to the classroom from March 8, remember to look out for them on their journey to and from school. It’s been a while since there has been a full-scale school run, so we’ll all be a bit out of practice. Drivers slow down when driving past schools, watch out for pedestrians crossing and always stop when indicated to do so by a school crossing patrol warden. Parents think about where you are stopping when you are dropping the children off at school. Never pull up on the zig zags outside the school gates. Those markings are there to provide a clear space for pedestrians to cross and to protect everyone’s children, not to be used as a drop off zone. Parents and children need to be on the lookout as you walk to and from school. Use this time as an opportunity to practice road safety skills with little ones. Older children should also be encouraged to be alert for traffic and not be distracted by their phones, music or their friends. Good luck to all our students returning to schools in South Yorkshire. We hope that you enjoy being back in the classroom and with your friends once again.

And for the rest of us, remember that every day can still be a “school day”, none of us is ever too old to learn something new. In fact, we’re encouraged to use our brains to help keep them young and healthy. The Safer Roads team has had a busy year learning new skills. Unable to engage face to face with our key audiences, we’ve been learning how to use social media, create more digital content and deliver presentations remotely. In the early days we even had to learn how to hold a team meeting via video conferencing.

It wasn’t just at work that we had to learn new skills; at home the way we did many things had to changes from internet banking, ordering the supermarket shop online, socialising with friends and family on zoom, to cutting my husband’s hair! Thank goodness for internet tutorials and how-to guides. 

There is still so much in this world for us to learn about; new skills to take up and practice, fresh insights to consider and different experiences for us to try. Embrace the opportunity to make every day a “school day”. But in doing that, also remember that the road safety lessons we have already learned are still important and need to be practised on a regular basis to keep you, your friends and family and everyone on the roads as safe as possible.

Stay safe until next time.