MORE than 40 per cent of Scottish schoolchildren admit to running across the road without looking, according to new road safety research carried out by Kwik Fit Insurance.
The research, commissioned by Kwik Fit Insurance to launch its annual search for the UK’s Lollipop Person of the Year, highlights the dangers children face on their daily journey to and from school.
The study surveyed more than 1000 schoolchildren aged between seven and 14, and found that 43 per cent of Scottish children had run across the road without checking for traffic, compared with the UK average of 39 per cent. With 445,700 pupils of this age in Scotland, that equates to almost 180,000 children.
In addition, 82 per cent of children in Scotland said they crossed the roads without the help of a lollipop person or using crossings. That’s despite almost three-quarters (73 per cent) admitting they don’t always feel confident crossing the road on their own.
Brendan Devine, group managing director of Kwik Fit Financial Services, appealed to school children, teachers and parents across the nation to nominate their most deserving lollipop person for the coveted title of Kwik Fit Insurance Lollipop Person of the Year 2010.
He said: “The Lollipop Person of the Year Awards is a heart-warming way of recognising the wonderful job our lollipop people do every day to make Britain’s roads safer for our children. However, our research shows that there is a very serious side to this competition and we hope to highlight the importance of road safety education to every child in the UK.
“This year the competition is bigger than ever before, with schools from Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland all having the opportunity to show how their lollipop person makes a real difference to their journey to school and to show their support by voting.”
Now in its eighth year, the Lollipop Person of the Year awards recognise the hard work and dedication of the men and woman who patrol the UK’s school crossings on a daily basis, whatever the weather.
- 71 per cent of Scottish children walk to school, the second-highest proportion in the UK next to the north-west of England (73 per cent), and significantly higher than the national average (66 per cent)
- Of the fifth of children in Scotland who are driven to school, more than a third (35 per cent) would rather walk with their friends
- Children in the East Midlands most commonly cross the road without looking; 49 per cent admitted to doing so
- Welsh children are most likely to cross without a lollipop person or marked crossing, with 94 per cent saying they had
- Pupils in north-west England are the least confident in crossing the roads, with 79 per cent feeling uncomfortable on their own
According to the most recent Government figures, 1,660 child pedestrians were killed or seriously injured in road accidents in 2009, a drop of just seven percent on the previous year’s figures.
Brendan Devine added: “We are determined to help further improve the UK’s road safety record for children. There’s some great work going on throughout the country by government road safety bodies and national charities such as Brake but our findings show there is still work to be done. We think the Lollipop Person of the Year campaign is a good way of raising awareness among both children and motorists alike.
“We want to make sure that Britain’s children are safe as they walk to school, which means that not only do we need to employ plenty of lollipop people, but it’s vitally important that motorists think about how they drive around towns and near schools. Last year the competition received more than 19,000 entries from 1,000 primary school children across the UK, including drawings, poems and even DVDs and songs describing the UK’s favourite lollipop people.”
Last year the competition received more than 19,000 entries from 1,000 primary school children across the UK, including drawings, poems and even DVD’s and songs describing the UK’s favourite lollipop people.
The 2010 awards are expected to be bigger and better than ever. Twelve regional finalists will go through to the grand final of the Lollipop Person of the Year Awards and the overall winner will be announced in January 2011.
The Lollipop Person of the Year will win £500 and the winning school will be presented with a cheque for £3,000 to spend on school equipment, while the twelve regional winners from across the UK who will receive £100 and each of the 12 schools will be awarded with £500.
The Lollipop Person of the Year Awards are part of an ongoing programme of road safety initiatives from Kwik Fit Insurance.
Last year’s winner was lollipop man John Foley from Bushes Primary School in Paisley, Scotland. The children and staff of Bushes Primary School created a new community garden with their £3000 prize money.
Nominations for the Kwik Fit Insurance Lollipop Person of the Year Awards 2010 will close on Friday, November 19th 2010.
More information and entry details can be found at www.bestlollipop.co.uk. In addition to voting online, schools throughout the UK will receive a nomination pack in the post.
Picture 1: John Foley, the 2009 winner of the Kwik Fit Insurance Lollipop Person of the Year Awards.
Picture 2: Robbie McFerrin, a pupil at Bushes Primary School in Paisley, Scotland with John Foley, 2009 winner of the Kwik Fit Insurance Lollipop Person of the Year Awards.
Notes to editors:
For more information on the Kwik Fit Insurance Lollipop Person of the Year awards, please contact Michelle Holton, Bryan Garvie or Charles Cameron at The BIG Partnership on 0141 333 9585 or firstname.lastname@example.org