Boosting road safety awareness

Little Blue Dinosaur image - Wilberforce 1Hawkesbury City Council is working with the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation on a pilot program to boost community awareness about child pedestrian safety.

The Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation has received Commonwealth grant funding to co-design and implement a pilot project, specifically focused on road safety initiatives to reduce child road trauma, in association with seven Local Government Areas in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria, including the Hawkesbury Local Government Area.

The Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Sarah McMahon welcomed Council’s involvement in the project.

“Increasing road safety awareness amongst our children and their carers is an important job to do, and I hope that this project will put pedestrian road safety at the top of all our minds,” Mayor McMahon said.

“Ten childcare centres and before and after school care centres from each of the Local Government Areas, including the Hawkesbury, are participating in the pilot project.

“Council will also be assisting by installing metal ‘Hold My Hand signs which have been created by the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation to go outside of each participating facility,” she said.
Little Blue Dinosaur - Tom

The participating facilities are Kurrajong Out of School Hours care at Kurrajong Community Centre, Elizabeth Street Preschool in North Richmond, Hobartville Long Day Preschool, Richmond Preschool, Glossodia Community Centre Out of School Hours care, Wilberforce Early Learning Centre, Wilberforce Preschool (pictured above), McGraths Hill Children’s Centre Inc., South Windsor Family Centre (pictured below) and Greenhills Child Care Centre, South Windsor.
Little Blue Dinosaur - South Windsor

The Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to protect child pedestrians from the ever-present danger of roadways and moving motor vehicles, community education and road safety collaborations with government stakeholder partnerships.

The Foundation was established in 2014 following the death of Michelle McLaughlin’s four-year-old son, Tom McLaughlin due to a pedestrian-motor vehicle crash whilst on a family holiday.

“Land transport crashes are the leading cause of death for Australian children aged 1 to 14,” Ms McLaughlin said.

“Between 2012 to 2021, 422 children under 15 years of age were involved in a road fatality crash, with 28.3% of these fatalities occurring when the child was a pedestrian. On average one child per week dies due to road trauma in Australia, as reported by the Australian Road Deaths Database Australian Institute for Health and Welfare.

“It is especially important for young children to hold their carer’s hand when around busy roads. My family knows first-hand the heartbreaking reality of losing a child to road trauma,” she said.

“Over the past nine years, the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation has partnered with 63 LGAs in four Australian states with its signage and media campaigns.

“This pilot program is so very important, and we thank Hawkesbury City Council for being so proactive.”

The Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation has partnered with University of NSW to analyse of the causes of child road trauma to identify better approaches for preventing child road trauma and death and to undertake pilot studies to evaluate intervention methods. Based on the results of UNSW’s research, The Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation developed a new community awareness campaign aimed at parents and caregivers of young children.

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