Early years educators are being encouraged to take part in a Beep Beep! Day by Brake, the road safety charity. The day is supported by Thrifty Car Rental and helps to teach children road safety basics and remind parents and drivers of their responsibility to help protect children when driving.
Each week, on average, seven children under the age of ten are injured on NZ roads . Beep Beep! Days provide an opportunity to engage children, parents and the community in road safety messages, helping to save young lives and reduce injuries.
Anyone working with two to seven year-old children can hold a Beep Beep! Day. The day involves running creative, educational activities using guidance and resources from Brake, such as creating a poster of hand prints to remind children and parents to hold hands, playing the ‘Belt up’ game to learn about child seats, singing road safety songs and baking traffic light biscuits. The activities teach young children the road safety basics and encourage parents to consider the vital steps they need to take to keep their family safe. Children taking part can also raise funds in support of Brake’s work campaigning for safer roads and supporting bereaved and injured crash victims.
The first national Beep Beep! Day will take place on Wednesday 9 May 2018 during Road Safety Week. Brake is encouraging early years educators to sign up for the national day, or to hold Beep Beep! on another day of their choice, and to access resources to help them to run activities.
The national day in May will link to this year’s Road Safety Week theme by focusing on the importance of using appropriate child seats for all children under 148cm tall, and reminding parents and the wider community to look out for young children when on the road.
REGISTER! Kindergartens, early childhood centres, primary schools and childminders can sign up now to run a Beep Beep! Day as part of the first national day on Wednesday 9 May, or any other day of their choice. Those taking part receive a free electronic action pack of resources, and can also order an optional hard copy resource pack. Go to www.brake.org.nz/beepbeepday, call 021 407 953 or email [email protected] to find out more and register.
Caroline Perry, Brake’s NZ director said: “Organising a Beep Beep! Day is a fun, simple way to teach young children the road safety basics, plus it’s great for persuading parents and everyone in the area that protecting children on roads is vital. Brake provides resources and activity plans to help you run a great Beep Beep! Day and get the road safety message out. We’re calling on anyone who works with two to seven year-olds to register to be part of this life-saving initiative.”
Graham Ward, Acting General Manager of Thrifty Car Rental New Zealand said: “Being safe on the roads is extremely important to Thrifty and with increases in the population and more vehicles on the road, on-going road safety education and awareness is critical. Supporting Brake and the work they do in raising road safety awareness is a good fit for us,” he said. “If we can pass on road safety messages to our customers, staff and their families, it’s another way of helping educate people and reduce crashes and road deaths.”
Advice for parents
When your child starts to walk with you around your community, talk to them about how they must always hold your hand. Hold hands until your child is at least eight, or longer depending on their development.
Make sure they understand the meaning of stop, traffic, danger, look, listen, walk don’t run, and other key words. Encourage your child’s school or kindergarten to teach road safety through a Beep Beep! Day. Your child’s learning will be more effective if they are taught about road safety at school as well as at home.
 Table 5, Section 2: Crashes and casualties, Motor vehicle crashes in New Zealand for 2016, Ministry of Transport, 2017
Notes for editors:
Brake is an international road safety charity. Its New Zealand division promotes road safety and campaigns against the carnage on New Zealand roads. It is also fundraising to improve support for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. To support Brake, go to www.brake.org.nz. Support books for children and adults bereaved in road crashes are available for free to families by contacting Brake on [email protected] or 021 407 953.
Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and now has domestic operations in the UK and New Zealand, and works globally to promote action on road safety.
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.
Thrifty Car Rental
Thrifty Car Rental is one of New Zealand’s largest on-airport car rental companies and is 100% Australasian owned by the NRMA Motoring & Services. The business is dedicated to the safety of its customers, with a fleet of new vehicles with the highest possible ANCAP safety star ratings. Thrifty strives to drive its customers happy by offering sharp rates on car hire and friendly personal service at over 30 convenient on-airport, city and ferry locations nationwide. www.thrifty.co.nz