The Government issues new road safety warnings to keep South West children safe

PUBLISHED: 12:37 15 November 2008 | UPDATED: 10:01 10 June 2010

THE Government has stepped up efforts to keep children safe in the South West by taking a new approach to warning children about the dangers they can face on our roads.

THE Government has stepped up efforts to keep children safe in the South West by taking a new approach to warning children about the dangers they can face on our roads.

The move comes following new research that shows today's six-11-year-olds need bolder and more forthright communication about road safety than ever before.

A new £1.5m THINK! campaign unveiled 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.

In the South West alone, 39 children were killed or seriously injured on Devon's roads last year.

In Dorset the figure was 37 with a further 28 in Somerset and 17 in Cornwall.

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 six-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."

'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.

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 November 17 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.

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