IAM RoadSmart is backing the FIA’s Stay Bright campaign, which is encouraging youngsters to wear bright reflective clothing on their way to and from school as the days get shorter.
The campaign is a Europe-wide initiative timed to coincide with children returning to school this month – and aims to support them in getting safely to and from school, during the key risk periods of early morning and late afternoon.
Each year, more than 800 children under the age of 15 are killed on European roads and 100,000 are injured (reference 1) with the biggest ‘at risk’ age for accidents being 12-years-old.
In the UK, total reported child casualties rose by 6.2% to 16,727, compared with 2013 - there was a similar rise of 5% in the number of seriously injured child casualties and five more child deaths in 2014 (reference 2).
The FIA campaign has won the backing of a host of Formula 1 stars including McLaren pair Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso, Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg and Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo.
IAM RoadSmart has been actively involved in the campaign and through its local volunteer network will be handing out reflective key rings and stickers to 2,500 school children.
Sarah Sillars, IAM RoadSmart chief executive officer, said: “We all remember walking to and from school in the dark. Young school children are likely to have other things on their own minds - not road safety.
“So it’s important for us grown-ups to make sure children are aware that as drivers, we can’t always see them – and they have to literally ‘stay bright’ to make sure they don’t become a victim.
“School years, for many of us, are our happiest and enabling our children to enjoy the freedom of the journey to and from school safely, is an important life lesson as well as something they’ll hopefully remember favourably.”
For more information about the campaign visit http://www.staybright.org/