Mayor supports road safety drive


Firefighters led a multi-agency drive to teach school children – and their parents – life-saving road safety messages.

Firefighters, police and council staff were at Holy Cross Primary School in Southville along with Bristol Mayor George Ferguson, whose trademark bright red trousers ensure that he is always seen.

Children at the school also wore bright trousers for the day, helping to reinforce the “be safe, be seen” message.

A traffic light crossing was set up in the hall to teach children how to safely cross a busy road. And they then demonstrated what they had learned,‘teaching’ the firefighters, police officers and the Mayor how to safely cross a road.

But it is not just children who had something to learn during the day.

Parents were also being targeted during drop-off and collection times, as there are some important messages for them to help ensure child safety near schools.

These include observing the “20 is plenty” approach in relation to speed around school premises.

They will also be encouraged to think about how they park near schools and how they can play a vital role in improving road safety for their children.

The event was organised by Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) as part of the UN’s global Road Safety Week (itself part of the United Nations' Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020) and the CFOA (Chief Fire Officers Association) national road safety week which will see around 37 fire and rescue services getting involved in road safety campaign work.

Linda Fayers from AF&RS’s community engagement team said: “We are really pleased to be involved in this important work.

“Last year, the charity Brake conducted a survey of 861 children in the south west, and nearly three-quarters of them (74%) said they felt drivers need to slow down around their home and school.

“Road traffic collisions can be devastating, not just for those involved but also their family and friends. 

“All too often firefighters are called to assist in the rescue of someone involved in an RTC and witness the destruction caused and the injuries suffered by those involved.

“It’s never more upsetting than when children are involved, so we are happy to do whatever we can to help make our roads safer.”

Leading up to the event, children designed their own road safety artwork, some of which has been printed into banners.

Rich Andrew, senior development officer at Brake, said: “This is a great way for children to learn about road safety through a range of fun and education activities.

“It’s encouraging to see so many people from the local community get together for such an important cause.

“Emergency services staff are ideally placed to help spread life-saving messages about the importance of driving responsibly, especially around schools, homes and shops.

“Events like this help to share these important road safety messages not just with the children but parents and the wider community to make roads safer for everyone.”

There's more information about road safety for children on our website, click here to read more.