A Kent mum has praised the Kent County Councils’ new teen pedestrian campaign aimed at 11 to 16 year olds.
A mother-of-two from Folkestone, 43-year-old Krista Elsner received a call every mother or father dreads when her daughter was hit by a car in 2015.
Chloe McEwan, now 14 years old, was running across a busy crossing on Folkestone’s Cheriton Road on her way to school when she was hit by a vehicle. Miss McEwan admitted to emergency services that it was her fault as she was not paying attention. She also said she felt sorry for the driver of the vehicle.
Miss Elsner thinks the campaign is a excellent idea for children in this age bracket. She said:
“I think the campaign is an excellent idea, especially for children at this age. It teaches the younger youth the dangers about crossing roads and not concentrating, it will also give them knowledge”.
The accident happened during Miss McEwan’s first year at secondary school, which collision data has also revealed is when the most incidents involving children take place, happening at the start and end of the school day.
We also asked Miss Elsner, what goes through your mind as a parent when you get a call saying your child has been injured in a accident.
“When I received the call I thought of the worst. What would she be like? Was she bleeding? Did she have cuts? Bruises? Broken Bones? When I saw her laying down on the stretcher wth a neck brace on, I just had so many things going through my mind, I was scared”
According to the KCC three out of four crashes involving children on Kent’s roads are because the children do not look properly before crossing. KCC have also said that child pedestrians are consistently shown to be at their most vulnerable between the ages of 11 and 16.
At this age a child is getting their independence and are likely to be making their first trips to secondary school unaccompanied by parents or guardians.
Team Leader and Casualty Reduction Manager at KCCs road safety team Steve Horton has said the new campaign is,
“This is one of our responses to the peak age for pedestrian casualties being between 11-14 years. Looking into our data”
“We can identify common errors young pedestrians make and have developed a concept too positively reinforce important behaviours”.
The new campaign will aim to address the issues, and will be advertised on local buses. It will use the era of computer games and utilise pixel art to get the message across to children in this age bracket.
- Look right first, then look left, then look right again before crossing the road. (This is because the car will come from the right first)
- Do not mess about with friends near the roadside. Concentrate to make sure it is the right time to cross.
- Find a safe place to cross – you could cross at a crossing or away from parked cars.
- Remove your distractions, such as earphones.
- Do not use a mobile device. If you are concentrating on your phone, you are not concentrating on what can do you the most harm.