Kerbcraft – Teaching children to cross the road safely

June 14, 2013

I’m sure that I am not the only person who can remember learning about the green cross code at school. Roo has recently been learning about road safety although her school is teaching the children through the Kerbcraft scheme.

What is Kerbcraft?

Kerbcraft is a child pedestrian training scheme, which gives practical roadside training to children aged 4-7 years old.

Training comprises of three skills:
1. Finding a safe place to cross
2. Crossing between parked cars
3. Crossing safely near junctions

Finding a safe place to cross

Good Place – a good place to cross the road is a place you can clearly see traffic coming from all directions and nothing is blocking the pavement on the other side. The best way to cross the road is to go straight across – not on a diagonal. Be aware of driveways and other places traffic may enter or exit.

Bad Place – a bad place to cross is a place where you cannot see traffic coming or where something is blocking the pavement on the other side.

Examples of bad places to cross the road:

  • By parked cars
  • By a hill
  • Where there are things in the way so you cannot see
  • By a corner or bend you cannot see around the corner

Crossing between parked cars

Only cross between parked cars is there is no other safe place to cross.

Dangers of crossing between parked cars:
Children cannot see because the cars are in the way
Drivers cannot see children
The parked cars might move

How to cross between parked cars:
1. Stop at the kerb
2. Look to make sure there is a big enough gap to stand safely between the cars and that nothing is blocking the pavement on the other side
3. Check the cars to see if they are going to move: DriverEngine noiseExhaust smokeAny lights onWheels moving. Remember, also check pared cars on the opposite side of the road if you intend crossing between them.

If you think a car is going to move,
find somewhere else to cross and start again from step 1

4. Staying on the pavement, go to the left car. Step carefully onto the road, go to the outside edge of the car and stop by its lights. DO NOT STEP OUT PAST THE CAR. Here drivers can see you and you can look all round for traffic.
5. Look right, left and right again. When it is clear walk sensibly across, keep looking and listening for traffic.

Crossing safely near junctions

Dangers of crossing near junctions:
Traffic comes from many directions
Pedestrians forget to look in all directions, especially behind them

How we cross at a junction:
1. Stop at the kerb
2. Check nothing is blocking the pavement on the other side
3. Starting behind you, look all around in a circle checking all the roads as you go. Make sure you have a good view down all the roads so you can see traffic coming in all directions.

If you CANNOT see down ALL of the roads, it is a “bad” place to cross – you need to find a “good” place. Start again from step 1.

4. If you can see down all the roads, check for traffic. Starting behind you, look all around in a circle making sure you have looked down all of the roads for traffic.
5. Continue looking all around for traffic until it is clear – at least twice.
6. When it is clear walk sensibly across, keep looking and listening for traffic.

I’m hoping that by instilling these road safety skills into Roo and other children early that they avoid having the trauma of a road accident. I remember my best friends at schools younger brother being hit by a car whilst he was crossing the road. Thankfully he only sustained a broken leg but it could have been so much worse… we would joke with him that one of his nine loves was now gone.

Boo xxx

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