Georges River Council joins Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation to boost child road safety awareness with pilot study

Georges River Council

Council has joined forces with the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation and University of NSW (Transport and Road Safety Research Centre) to take part in an innovative program that evaluates child pedestrian safety around local early learning and childcare centres.

Georges River is one of seven Local Government Areas (LGAs) from New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria to participate in the ‘Hold my Hand’ program

focused on road safety initiatives to reduce child road trauma.

Council will install ‘Hold My Hand’ metal signs outside 10 participating early learning and childcare centres across the area. There are six Council Early Learning Centres and four other private childcare centres taking part. The program will include a study involving a pre-survey of attitudes about child pedestrian road safety, an education campaign with resources, and a post-survey to gauge the impact of the project.

Mayor Nick Katris met with Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation at one of the local participating sites today in Carss Park to welcome Council’s involvement.

“Georges River LGA has been identified as a high-risk area based on the number of pedestrian and child accidents especially within high vehicle and pedestrian areas,” he said.

“To combat this, Council is providing further educational, behavioural and community engagement programs to raise awareness to the local community.”

“This pilot project with the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation will put pedestrian road safety at the top of all our minds with a focus on raising awareness of child safety.”

Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation CEO, Michelle McLaughlin said it is vital that parents understand why they must hold hands with their children in traffic environments.

“Parents must actively always supervise children, especially those aged 1-10 years, who have significant cognitive, physical, and perceptual limitations around roadways. Due to these limitations, children are unable to keep themselves safe from road trauma events and need adults to perform this responsibility on their behalf,” she said.

“Over the past nine years, the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation has partnered with 68 LGAs in four Australian states with its signage and media campaigns. This pilot program is very important, and we thank Georges River Council for being so proactive.”

The participating early learning and childcare facilities in the Georges River LGA are:

Childcare FacilityLocation
Rise and Shine Kindergarten KogarahBeverley Park
Rise and Shine Kindergarten CarltonCarlton
St George Bank child Care CentreKogarah
Jenny’s Kindergarten RiverwoodRiverwood
Ocean Street KindergartenKogarah
Jack High Child Care CentreBeverly Hills
Oatley West Early Learning CentreOatley
South Hurstville KindergartenSouth Hurstville
Penshurst Long Day CarePenshurst
Carss Park Narani Childcare CentreCarss Park

What you can do to increase child pedestrian safety:

  • Just as it is vital for children to wear a seatbelt when in a vehicle, it is equally as important for children to practise safe behaviour as pedestrians around cars on our roads.
  • Children under 10 need to hold an adult’s hand when near a busy road and children over 10 need to be reminded about the importance of being attentive near roads.
  • Parents should talk to their children about road safety but also remember it’s just as important for adults to be aware and vigilant. Children are still learning and developing the abilities required to identify safe crossings and anticipate driver behaviour.
  • Be cautious when on holiday or in new environments, particularly around areas of high pedestrian and vehicular activity. Road crashes take only a microsecond to happen.
  • Speed is one of the greatest contributors to fatalities on our roads. The risk of death or serious injury is higher for children, even at very low speeds.
  • Drivers should be on high alert for the safety of young pedestrians. Child pedestrians can move unpredictably, and their smaller size makes them harder for drivers to see.
  • Drivers need to slow down around busy areas and be extra attentive when parking and crossing driveways.

The project summary will be available later in the year via the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation website.

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