Dutch road safety organisation asks parents not to drive their kids to school
Safe Traffic Netherlands (VVN), an organisation monitoring road safety in the Netherlands, has launched a campaign calling on parents to avoid driving to school as much as possible, and instead opt for walking or cycling in order to improve road safety around schools.
Improve road safety by cycling or walking to school
According to figures shared by VVN, around 80 percent of students live within three kilometres of their school, and yet 60 percent of primary school children are dropped off at school in the car. The organisation acknowledges that this mostly happens as parents drop their children off before driving to their jobs, but points out that the coronavirus pandemic means more adults are working from home, and so there are “plenty of opportunities” to leave the car behind and cycle or walk to school instead.
“For children, the trip from home to school is the ideal time to gain practical experience in traffic,” says Thomas Stuiver from the VVN. “My advice to parents: bring children by bike or by foot as much as possible.”
What can parents do to help?
VVN points out that everyone can help contribute to making roads in the Netherlands safer for people of all ages. Here are five tips they offer families with kids to help improve road safety on the way to school:
- As a family, agree on which days you will walk or cycle to school together.
- Would you rather drive? Then park a little further from the school and walk the rest of the way.
- Make sure you park in an area where you don’t impede the rest of the traffic and where your child can get out safely.
- Teach your child about how they can be safe in traffic.
- If your child is a little older, make sure they know how to travel safely - for example by not using their mobile phone when they’re on their bike.
They also ask all motorists to avoid schools as much as possible during drop-off and pick-up to ensure kids are given the space they need to travel safely.