ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Building bridges: using road safety education to develop partnerships between children's services, families and local communities across NSW [ABSTRACT ONLY]

Burgio, Analisa, Harrison, Linda



Research suggests that young children are dependent upon adults for their safety. They do not have the understanding nor ability to behave safely in the road traffic environment without adult assistance. Adults can take responsibility for children in the complex road traffic environment in two ways: one is through protection and the other is through road safety education. This paper reviews ways in which the Early Childhood Road Safety Education Program (ECRSEP) encourages adults to do both. 

The first five years of life in Australian culture are characterised by increasing striving by child towards independence. This leads many adults to overestimate the abilities of young children. Working in close partnership with children's services, ECRSEP aims to increase adult understanding of the developmental characteristics of young children that place them risk of death and serious injury. Reducing causalities involves increasing community awareness of protective practices that are the most effective for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and for those in the early school years. Adult responsibility encompasses safety of young children as passengers, pedestrians and at play.

ECRSEP works closely with children's services to help them plan and implement road safety education programs in partnership with their families and their local communities. This presentation highlights the crucial role of early childhood educators in helping families keep their children safe in the road traffic environment. The authors share practical safety education strategies for families and those that support them that are effective young children. Strategies include ways to integrate road safety education, through planning and programming, within the daily lives of children?.. both in the children's service and when they are out and about with their families. 

The authors draw from their involvement in specific projects within local communities across urban and rural areas of NSW. They highlight ways in which ECRSEP works collaboratively with children's services to develop interactive road safety experiences which can be adapted by a range of road safety professionals, to address local pedestrian and passenger safety issues. 

The Early Childhood Road Safety Education Program supports early childhood professionals in their key role as community advocates for the safety and well being of young children. presentation will encourage road safety stakeholders within their local communities to how they can work effectively towards keeping children safe in the road traffic environment through a co-operative approach.