Young artists turn their talents to promoting road safety with firefighters

Pupils from a primary school in Kingswood were visited by firefighters when they unveiled the winners of a drawing competition.

A crew from Kingswood Fire Station has been working with three local schools to design stickers for a child car safety seat event taking place later this month. Children at St Stephens Church of England Junior School, Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School and Christchurch Church of England School were asked to come up with ideas that promote the use of seatbelts and car safety seats.

Five winners from the three schools will have their colourful designs made into stickers, which will be handed out at a special road safety event on Monday 24 May at Kingswood Fire Station. On the day, qualified representatives from Mothercare and Britax will be at the station checking child safety seats free of charge to ensure they are fitted properly.

Firefighters will be on hand to offer advice on road safety and members of South Gloucestershire Council’s Road Safety team will be at the station carrying out eye tests for drivers.

Red Watch Manager at Kingswood Fire Station, Tony Wittcomb, said: “We’ve had some great designs back from the three schools, which showed the children have a really good awareness of the importance of safety seats and seatbelt use.

“It wasn’t easy, but we’ve managed to pick five winners from the schools who will see their stickers handed out at the child safety seat event on Monday 24 May and displayed on our website.”

Previous checks carried out across the UK suggest that as many as eight out of ten child seats aren’t fitted correctly – if properly restrained a child is 90% less likely to be killed in a collision.

WM Wittcomb added: “Unfortunately the figures speak for themselves. As a parent you would never intentionally take risks with your child’s safety, but not having a properly fitted safety seat or not checking your kids are strapped in, places them at a huge and unnecessary risk.

“Any member of the emergency services will tell you that dealing with the aftermath of a road traffic collision that involves an injury or a death to a child is one of the most difficult parts of the job we do. Raising awareness of these issues is vital in reducing the number of tragic incidents and the devastating effects it has on families.”