Road safety is an important issue that affects everyone. Roads and the accompanying traffic are pretty much unavoidable, and most of us use the roads every day as pedestrians, drivers, cyclists or passengers. Being aware of the dangers and how best to minimise risk is essential to ensure that everyone can travel around as safely as possible.
Teaching road safety falls within the school curriculum requirements for subjects such as PSHE and Citizenship, but can also be linked to other subjects such as Geography, Science, Maths and PE. Road safety education lends itself well to outdoor play, so installing specially designed road track playground markings is a great way to familiarise children with real-life road markings, how to identify what they mean and help them to build awareness of the Highway Code.
Charities and initiatives such as Brake and Think! Road Safety are great for incorporating road safety education into both indoor and outdoor learning, and have a wide range of available resources to help drive home the fundamentals of road safety. Children also learn by example, picking up and emulating the behaviour of the adults or older children around them. By installing realistic road markings that use the same shapes, symbols and signs that they would see out in the real world, children can practise their skills somewhere safe, quiet and under supervision.
Playground Markings for Road Safety Activities
Perhaps one of the most important pedestrian road safety markings is the zebra crossing. A clear indicator to both pedestrians and drivers, it symbolises a designated safe zone for crossing the street.
We manufacture these markings from thermoplastic, which can last up to ten times longer than regular paint.
Originating in the UK in the 1950s, the zebra crossing was a revolutionary concept designed to enhance pedestrian safety in the rapidly motorising post-war era. Its distinctive black and white stripes, resembling a zebra's coat, quickly became an iconic symbol of pedestrian rights. However, while it signifies pedestrian priority, it is crucial to remember that this does not guarantee that vehicles will always stop.
Vigilance is key. Pedestrians must remain alert and ensure that oncoming traffic has seen them and is stopping before they step onto the crossing. This reminder is especially pertinent in road safety education, where children are taught that while zebra crossings are there to protect them, their safety also depends on their cautiousness and awareness. Understanding and respecting the zebra crossing is not just about knowing when to cross, but also about recognising the potential unpredictability of road use and the shared responsibility between pedestrians and drivers.
Stop, Look, Listen
Implementing the 'Stop, Look, Listen' mantra is made interactive with playground markings. Children can be taught to stop at the edge of the marked road, look for imaginary oncoming traffic, and listen for potential hazards, embedding these crucial steps into their safety habits. It's crucial to note, however, that the explicit signage or markings of 'Stop, Look, Listen' are not as common in real-world road scenarios. Unlike the controlled and clearly marked playground environments, real streets often lack these direct prompts. Therefore, while the mantra serves as an excellent foundational tool in controlled settings, it is essential to also teach children to apply this vigilance and awareness in everyday situations where such clear guidance may not be visually present.
Playground markings that include traffic lights -- either real or thermoplastic -- offer a dynamic way to educate children about signal obedience. Kids can learn about the different phases of traffic lights and what each colour signifies, making it a fun and memorable experience.
Speed Limit Signs
Adding to this, the use of scooters, trikes, and balance bikes in EYFS settings brings a practical dimension to these lessons. Young children, engaging with these vehicles, can experience firsthand the concepts of speed control and the importance of adhering to limits. It provides an opportunity for them to physically navigate through these marked playground roads, learning to gauge their speed in relation to the signage. This experiential learning is crucial in EYFS, as it aligns with their developmental stage, allowing them to grasp the basics of road safety in a manner that is both enjoyable and age-appropriate. The use of these vehicles not only makes the learning process more engaging but also helps in developing their motor skills and understanding of spatial awareness in relation to road safety.
Road Safety Concepts for Children
Road Safety Learning Objectives
Introducing children to the basics of road safety through engaging activities and stories is the first step in building a culture of safety. It's not just about memorising rules; it's about understanding the "why" behind them. Why should we only cross at zebra crossings? Why is it important to look both ways? By embedding these concepts into their young minds, we're not just teaching them for today, but we're equipping them with lifelong safety skills.
First and foremost, identifying and understanding road track markings is key. These lines and symbols are not just splashes of paint; they are the language of the road, communicating crucial information to all road users. Children should learn to recognise pedestrian crossings, understand the significance of safety signs, and the importance of traffic signals. Additionally, they need to develop an awareness of their surroundings – this means knowing how to spot potential hazards and understanding the unpredictable nature of road usage. By setting clear learning objectives, we're not just teaching them the alphabet of road safety, but we're also nurturing responsible, aware pedestrians and future drivers.
The Green Cross Code
This simple yet powerful set of instructions has been guiding pedestrians, young and old, across roads safely for years. "Stop, Look, Listen, Think" – these words are like a safety mantra that should be etched into every child's mind. The Green Cross Code isn't just a set of rules; it's a beacon of safety in the chaotic world of traffic. It empowers children, giving them the confidence to make smart decisions when crossing the road. Incorporating the Green Cross Code into road safety education is like giving children a shield – one that guards them against the dangers of the road with knowledge and caution.
Be Safe, Be Seen
Whether it's wearing bright clothing during the day, reflective gear in the evening, or using lights and reflectors on bikes, being visible to drivers is crucial. But it's not only about what you wear; it's also about where you stand. Teaching children to position themselves where they are most visible to drivers, away from parked cars and other obstacles, is key.
For younger children, what's more fun for kids than dressing up? Introduce a high-visibility dressing-up box filled with vibrant, reflective outfits. Children can play and learn simultaneously by trying on these eye-catching ensembles, turning an important safety lesson into an exciting dress-up adventure. This not only reinforces the concept of being visible but also makes learning about road safety a memorable and enjoyable experience. It's about blending education with imagination, making road safety both a priority and a pleasure.
Stop, Look and Listen
Last but certainly not least, let's delve into the timeless trio of road safety: Stop, Look, and Listen. First, stop at the kerb – no rushing, no distractions. Next, look around – not just left and right, but all around, because danger can come from any direction. And listen – because sometimes, what you can't see can still be heard. Whether it's the distant rumble of an engine or the chime of a bicycle bell, our ears are just as important as our eyes when it comes to staying safe. Also consider what might not be heard -- some electric vehicles are almost noiseless compared to other types of engine, so take extra care.
These three simple words form the cornerstone of safe road crossing and form the basis of one of the most memorable and successful safety campaigns in the UK. This iconic mantra is not only a crucial part of our national road safety education but also a fundamental concept that can be vividly brought to life through road track playground markings.
Playground Vehicle Safety
Integrating scooters, trikes, and balance bikes into playground activities with road track markings is a fantastic way to elevate road safety education. These vehicles add an extra layer of realism to the mock road scenarios, allowing children to experience different perspectives of road users. As they navigate through zebra crossings, traffic lights, and speed limit signs on their bikes and scooters, children learn about the rules and responsibilities of cyclists and motorists. This hands-on experience not only reinforces their understanding of traffic rules but also enhances their motor skills and coordination. By actively participating in these realistic road simulations, children develop a deeper appreciation for road safety, learning to respect all forms of transportation and their roles in traffic. This fun, engaging approach transforms road safety education from mere theory into practical, everyday life skills.
The integration of thermoplastic playground markings and practical activities like the use of scooters, trikes, and balance bikes in Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) represents a dynamic and effective approach to road safety education. Through interactive learning environments, children are not only taught the fundamental principles of road safety, such as the importance of zebra crossings, adherence to speed limits, and the critical 'Stop, Look, Listen' mantra, but they also experience these concepts in action. This hands-on approach is crucial, especially in the formative years of EYFS, where experiential learning is most impactful.
Contact us to discuss your thermoplastic road safety requirements for your school.