Campaign aimed at reducing road related injuries and deaths on the Capital’s roads to launch this summer  

A new road safety campaign spearheaded by the London Road Safety Council (LRSC) and targeted at children who are about to transition from primary to secondary school has begun this week in a bid to reduce the number of children killed or seriously injured on the Capital’s roads.

Particularly focused at 11- and 12-year-olds who may be preparing to commute to and from a new school solo for the first ever time in September, the campaign will see teachers in schools in 11 London boroughs give talks to the children on how to stay safe.

Parents and carers are also being urged to speak to youngsters amidst growing concern that the pandemic has impacted young peoples’ exposure to ‘road risks’ – with lockdown resulting in home schooling for many, and fewer cars on the roads.

In 2016, a Public Health England School Journey Safety Guide cited that road collisions remain one of the main causes of premature death among children and young people aged 0-15, with 35% of child pedestrians killed or seriously injured (KSI) during what is typically classified as the ‘school run’.

According to LRSC – a charity which includes elected member representatives from London Councils, Transport for London (TfL), as well Metropolitan Police and City of London Police forces – 28,000 people will be injured on roads in the Greater London Area this year, resulting in around 3,000 serious injuries or deaths.

In a bid to tackle the issue the charity is also preparing to launch the ‘It’s a Jungle Out There’ campaign later this summer which will provide families across London with a range of useful resources for both parents and children, and feature on popular social media platforms including Facebook.

Initially, the campaign will focus on 11 London Boroughs including Waltham Forest; City of Westminster; Richmond; Hounslow; Wandsworth; Barnet; Southwark; Havering; Ealing; Brent; Hillingdon.

Jill Head, Headteacher at Henry Maynard in Waltham Forest said: “The end of the school year is always an exciting time for year six students with a lot of the focus, inevitably, on the increased freedom that will come with being a secondary school pupil – not least after the last year when so many were impacted by lockdown.

“For many of the children here at Henry Maynard though, from September they will also be making their way to and from school independently for the first ever time, using an unfamiliar route, and on unfamiliar roads.

“We’re therefore really grateful to the London Road Safety Council for providing us with information and resources that we can share with the children ahead of the summer break so that they can better understand how important road safety is and how best to protect themselves as they start to take on more independence.

“The statistics relating to road traffic collisions are scary, but as part of this campaign we are hoping to equip our students with just one of the life skills necessary to make this exciting transition safely.”

James Parker, Executive Officer at the London Road Safety Council, said: “Independently walking, cycling or taking public transport to school is, for many young people, a rite of passage, but the sad reality is that a significant number of incidents involving a child killed or seriously injured as a result of a road collision happen on the school run.

“As part of the ‘It’s a Jungle Out There’ campaign which we will be launching in just a few weeks we want to encourage families across London to have the conversation about what the risks of the road are, and how to safely navigate their way to and from school. Our ultimate mission is to ensure that every child gets home safely each evening.”