Department for Transport
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Government steps up efforts to keep children safe

Government steps up efforts to keep children safe

DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT News Release (171) issued by COI News Distribution Service. 12 November 2008

More than 9,000 killed or inured on our roads last year

Government is taking a new approach to warning children about the dangers they can face on our roads, following new research that shows today's 6-11-year-olds need bolder and more forthright communication about road safety than ever before.

A new £1.5m THINK! campaign unveiled today by Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick graphically spells out the dangers of not crossing the road safely and highlights the need to 'stop, look and listen' every time. Jim Fitzpatrick said:

"More than 9,000 children were killed or hurt on British roads last year. This tragically underlines why we must continue to teach our children how to safely use the road.

"Previous Government campaigns have been very effective in teaching children about road safety. But because today's 6-11-year-olds are exposed to new media like computer games and the internet their attitudes to communications have become more sophisticated. This means they need the real world dangers of not using roads safely spelled out in a new, more realistic way.

"Our roads are some of the safest in the world, but any death is one too many and that is why we remain determined to continue to do everything we can to make our roads even safer."

Justin Roberts, Co-Founder and MD of Mumsnet.com, the UK's largest online social network for parents said:

"According to our user research at Mumsnet road safety is the number one parental fear so anything the Government can do to encourage children to be safe is very welcome. The format of the advertisement is one which children can relate to so hopefully the road safety message will get through effectively." 'Tales of the Road' was devised following in-depth research with both parents and children who felt that a forthright campaign showing the consequences of both good and bad road safety behaviour was needed to make an impression on today's children. This generation of 6-11-year-olds is exposed to a greater variety of media than ever before from computer games and the internet to 24-hour news.

The campaign will use animated characters to tell a series of cautionary tales each focusing on a different aspect of road safety. The first advert, 'The Boy Who Did Not Stop, Look and Listen', will air from Monday 17th November and aims to demonstrate to children the importance of taking care when crossing or playing near roads.

The television adverts will be accompanied by a new website with interactive games for children and educational material for teachers and parents. The Government is also investing £140m in the Travelling to School project and another £140m in cycling, which includes funding for an extra 500,000 10 year-olds across England to take part in Bikeability cycle training, while the THINK! Copycat campaign reminds parents of the need to set a good example to their children on road safety.

Notes to Editors:

1. 'The Boy Who Didn't Stop, Look and Listen' will air from Monday 17th November 2008. The next adverts for the 'Tales of the Road' are scheduled to appear from 5th January 2009.

2. 'The Boy Who Didn't Stop, Look and Listen' cost £1.5m in total.

3. The 'Tales of the Road' website goes live on 17th November 2008 and can be found at http://www.direct.gov/talesoftheroad.gov.uk

Public Enquiries: 020 7944 8300
Department for Transport Website: http://www.dft.gov.uk

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