As parents and children prepare for the new school year, Police wants to encourage parents to talk to their children about road safety.

“The school summer holidays are long, and that means children are out of practice at getting to and from school,” says Inspector Peter McKennie, Operations Manager for the National Road Policing Centre.

“They may have forgotten some of the basics of road safety and some children may be starting school for the first time.

“So we asked some friends to help us with a few road safety messaging in a video you can watch here(link is external).

“It’s a good idea for parents to sit down with their kids before the end of the holidays and have a conversation around road safety rules, especially if your child is going to be going to school on their own.

“Help them to choose the safest route to get there and do a few practise walks or bikes with them, so they are familiar with the route and the safest places to cross.

“It is important to remind them that any time they are crossing the road they must stop, look, and listen for any cars, motorbikes, or cyclists before they step out.”

Police also urge all older children and adults to be good role models on the road and remember that kids are watching you and will do what you do.

“If you break the rules, children will think this is the norm and follow suit. That puts their lives in danger. So everyone, please set a good example; look both ways before crossing the road, use pedestrian crossings where they are available, wait for the green cross signal at traffic lights, and if you’re driving make sure everybody is buckled up.

“Motorists; remember to watch your speed around schools and be extra alert in case a child runs out in front of you without warning. Children can make mistakes and they don't deserve to pay for them with their life. 

“Even small increases in speed result in a much greater increase in your stopping distance, and that can mean the difference between life and death for pedestrians, so it's vital you slow down around schools.  You need to drive at a speed and in a manner that enables you to respond safely to the unexpected.

“How you drive makes the difference,” says Inspector McKennie.

Police also reminds drivers that the speed limit for passing school buses stopped to let children on or off is 20km/h.