13 Rules To Ensure Road Safety For Kids
While it is important for children to know about road safety rules and regulations, they should not be given more information than they can handle. Here are a few basic road safety rules for kids that you can begin with.
1. Know Your Signals
Help your kid learn about the traffic lights and signs, and what each color indicates.
Green means ‘go’: Only when the signal turns ‘green’, vehicles move ahead.
Red means to ‘stop’: When the signal turns red, all the vehicles have to stop.
Yellow means to slow down: When the signal turns yellow, vehicles should slow down and prepare to stop.
The ‘Walk’ or a walking man symbol at intersections are for pedestrians. Cross the road only if these signs turn green. But look to the left and right to ensure no vehicles are approaching.
Never cross the road if the sign says ‘Don’t Walk’ or if the walking man symbol turns red.
Sometimes a hand symbol is used instead of the walking man or ‘Walk’ signals. Tell your kid about that too. If there are other symbols for pedestrians, you should make it a point to let them know. Gradually, teach your children about the other essential traffic signals they should know.
2. Stop, Look, And Cross
Your child may have to walk to school or the bus stop and back. They may only have to cross the street after the school bus drops them off. Even if they don’t, they may have to cross the street to get to a friend’s house or a neighbor’s. Whatever the case is, you should teach your kids to cross the road safely. Here’s how you can help them learn.
Always look for signals and use the pedestrian crossing to cross the road. In the absence of such markings, here is what you should do:
Look to your right and then to the left to see if there are any approaching vehicles.
If yes, wait for the vehicle to pass and then cross the road.
Never cross at bends.
Never cross between stationary vehicles.
Adults should always accompany children aged less than six and hold their hand when crossing the street.
3. Pay Attention – Listen
Teach your kids that they may not always be able to see an oncoming vehicle, especially if they are standing near a bend. Therefore, they should listen to know if a vehicle is approaching. Cars and other vehicles on the road often use the “horn” at bends and at unmanned intersections to indicate that they are nearing. Tell your children:
If they hear a horn, stop and look to the left and right to see if any vehicle is approaching.
Listen for engine sounds nearby to know if there is a moving vehicle – explain how a loud noise indicates the vehicle is nearby, and a faint sound means it is away.
4. Don’t Run On Roads
Children may not always have patience and may tend to run across the street to get to the other side. They may also run along the road in your neighborhood while playing. Tell your kids never to run across or along the road. Children can get distracted easily and leave their guardian’s hand to run or sprint away.
Teach your kids to stay calm on the road and never to run or sprint.
5. Always Use Sidewalks
Teach your kids to use the sidewalk when walking on the road. Set an example for them by using the walking paths yourself. Whether it is a busy street or not, encourage your kid to use the sidewalk to stay safe on the road.
6. Crossroads and Pedestrian Crossing
Kids have a tendency just to sprint across the street, anywhere they like. That can be dangerous as passing vehicles do not slow down unless there is a signal or a crossroad. Tell your kids to cross only at an intersection and use the pedestrian crossing. If they are in a small neighborhood where there is no crossroad or marked crossing, they should follow the rules mentioned above.
Lessons on pedestrian safety for kids are important and should be included in school curriculum as well.
7. Never Stick Hands Outside The Vehicle
Kids tend to put their hands out of the school bus even when it is moving. Some of them may even put their head out to look back and wave. This is common with students taking the school bus. It may seem like a fun idea but sticking hands or head out of a moving vehicle can be highly dangerous. If children are not careful, they could be hit by vehicles approaching from the opposite direction.
8. Never Cross Road At Bends
Bends are the blind spots for motorists. When you cross at a bend, you do not give the vehicle drivers enough time to spot you and stop the car. Tell your kid never to cross at a bend as that can increase the chances of them getting hurt.
9. Staying Safe On A Bicycle
If you have an older kid who rides his bike to school or around the neighborhood, make sure he is aware of and follows the following cycling rules to stay safe on the road.
Always wear a helmet when riding a bike.
Check if the bicycle is in working condition before using it – check for breaks and light, if using at night.
Always use the bicycle lane. In its absence, ride the bike on extreme right or left side (whichever is right in your country) of the road and move along with traffic. Keep your eyes and ears open to make way for larger and faster vehicles behind you.
Always use a light in areas with poor visibility and at night, to be easily noticed by motorists.
Do not allow kids to ride a cycle on busy streets without parental supervision.
10. Staying Safe Inside A Moving Vehicle
In a moving car, you can make sure that your kid is safe with the help of a car seat or seat belts. To see that they are safe in a moving vehicle without you, make sure they learn and follow these simple rules:
Never stand inside a moving vehicle, especially a school bus or van.
Students should not move around inside a moving school bus.
Stay seated and hold on to the hard rail inside the bus for support, until the vehicle comes to a stop.
Do not put any part of the body outside the window of a moving vehicle.
11. Always Get Out At The Curb Side
If your kid takes the school bus every day, help them remember these safety tips.
Start early and be on time to avoid running for the bus.
Always stand in the queue when boarding and alighting the bus.
Always get off the curb side when getting off a car or the bus to prevent being an obstruction to the other vehicles on the road.
12. Be Seen, Stay Safe
Dressing in black may be a bad idea when you want to walk at night. It is important that vehicle drivers notice you if you want to stay safe. To be seen:
Wear light colored clothes or reflective material when walking or biking at night.
Wear bright clothes during the day.
Wave your hand if you want to indicate your presence to an incoming vehicle.
13. Don’t Rush
Children can get excited and rush in an attempt to get to a place or meet someone. That can be dangerous. Teach your kids to:
Not rush when getting into or off a vehicle as it can be hazardous.
Not get distracted or suddenly drag the parent or guardian in a particular direction as this can throw the adult off guard.
Stay calm and do not rush when walking on the street.
Not open the car doors suddenly as they them get into a habit of opening the doors only after you say so.
Do not play in the bus bay or on the roads.