The vital skill Aussie kids may have lost during lockdowns

·News Reporter
·3-min read

Through seemingly endless Covid lockdowns, many Australian children have found themselves resorting to virtual learning at home rather than direct teaching in the classroom.

Being stuck at home has meant many school kids have missed out on learning key skills that are normally only taught through vital, in-person school programs such as road safety.

Without access to interactive workshops with practical activities, kids have only discovered road safety knowledge through videos and worksheets.

Two little girls in school uniforms wait to cross the road. Source: Getty Images
Children may have lost essential road skills while they've been stuck at home during lockdowns. Source: Getty Images

However, an unlikely champion has emerged to combat this problem by launching a campaign to boost awareness about road safety for Australian school kids who may not be fully aware of the dangers of the road. So what does it entail?

Stress-free school crossings

The new publicity campaign is the brainchild of the online car rental comparison site Stressfreecarrental.com which is keen to ensure that school kids of all ages are aware of road safety with the final term of the year almost set to commence and schools set to return to in person learning after long lockdowns.

The campaign consists of the company suggesting ideas and practical solutions regarding kids and road safety around schools to local councils so that they explore these vital issues and act on them if necessary. 

A group of children and a woman walk along a suburban road. Source: Getty Images
A new campaign aims to help improve children's awarness of road rules. Source: Getty Images

Rather than just highlighting the problems, the campaign aims to find practical solutions for kids to help one another when crossing roads both before and after school ends. Some of the company’s suggestions include:

  • Walking with friends to help learn in groups

  • Removing headphones and other audio devices that could alter hearing cars

  • Awareness about how smartphones and other devices could distract kids at the roadside

By focusing on these aspects, the company is hoping that children will learn about the dangers of the road and how to cross safely on the journey from their homes to the classroom.

Stressfreecarrental.com CEO John Charnock emphasised these views stating that “millions of school-aged children across the globe have been missing out on the daily routine of getting ready to go to school, and then walking to school."

"They are out of practice in terms of general road safety routines for getting to and from school,” Mr Charnock added. 

It’s a growing program for the Manchester-based company who are not just targeting Australia in their road safety quest but have launched similar publicity drives in the US, South Africa as well as their home country of the UK.

The lollipop lifeline

Alongside encouraging school children to be safe near roads, the campaign also calls for more support to lollipop patrols who are a vital lifeline during school times too.

A young girl holds a smartphone. Source: Getty Images
The new campaign will aim to encourage children to avoid using smartphones near roads. Source: Getty Images

In Stressfreecarrrental.com’s campaign, they have called for governments to give more funding to lollipop workers schemes and to increase the number of workers hired across many Australian towns and cities.

When discussing the campaign, Mr Charnock elaborated on the important role that lollipop workers play in helping kids cross the roads safely. 

“We hope we can help generate motivation for lawmakers to act to try to find funding and resources for more school crossing patrols in each country."

“This is just the very start so we hope it begins to generate momentum and wider interest to spark action,” he said.

It is a fresh approach to see considering that many school crossing supervisors have found themselves sidelined at home just as much as schoolchildren have for the duration of lockdown periods.

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