It makes sombre reading but research shows the number of children injured as pedestrians peaks at 12 years of age, which is when many pupils start travelling to and from school on their own. Meanwhile almost a quarter of the cyclists killed or injured are children: 10 to 15-year-old cyclists are the most at risk age group.

At around eight years of age a child will have started to develop the ability to judge speed and distance but are still at risk of road traffic accidents as pedestrians.

Parents and responsible adults walking with children should follow some simple but effective safety rules. Begin by always walking on the pavement or path if there is one, and never straying into the road. Your position on the pavement is important too. Take the inside position at all times, walking as far away from the kerb as possible.

You can help your child be safer around traffic by:

  • Asking young children to hold your hand or use walking reins
  • Teaching the Green Cross Code from around the age of five
  • Never dash across the road – it sets a bad example
  • Ban texting or talking on mobiles or listen to music when out walking and crossing roads
  • Being risk aware – cyclists and motorcyclists are a danger as well as drivers
  • Insist they always wear a helmet when cycling

    What is the Green Cross Code?
    The rules of the Green Cross Code, created in 1970, have been passed down from generation to generation. To begin find a safe place to cross, stand on the pavement near the kerb, look all round for traffic and listen, if traffic is coming – let it pass then look all round again, when there is no traffic near, walk straight across the road, keep looking and listening for traffic while crossing.

    For more Green Cross Code hints and tips, visit –