According to a release by the Ministry of Road and Transport Highways in September 2016, there were nearly 4,80,652 road accidents in that year resulting in 1,50,785 fatalities. With such frightening statistics, road safety should be one of the prime concerns of a parent.
Here’s a list of do’s and don’ts that you, as parents, need to follow while driving or walking with your child on the road.
- Always wear helmets, even if you are a pillion rider. Your children will follow your example.
- Maintain a good distance from the vehicle in front of you.
- Teach your young child the importance of holding your hand while crossing the road. Young children don't often understand the concept of traffic and need to be supervised at all times.
- Always seat your child in the car before reversing it, whether you are in front of your garage or in a parking space outside.
- Wait for your young child at the appointed stop, when the school bus arrives. Don't ask him to cross the road to come to you. Walk up to him and cross the road with him.
- Use footpaths whenever you walk on the road. However, if there aren’t any, walk facing the oncoming traffic (right side on Indian roads).
- Make sure your child gets off the car on the safe side of the road (left side on Indian roads), and not on the side where there is traffic.
- Always wear your seatbelt while driving and ensure that your child's seatbelt is also properly strapped.
- Talk to your child about how you need to focus while driving and what kind of behaviour is not acceptable. Appreciate her for appropriate behaviour.
- Don’t talk on phones or listen to music while carrying your child or leading him across the road.
- While holding your child’s hand as you walk on the road, make sure she is on the safe side (left side on Indian roads) rather than on the side where there is traffic.
- Don’t let go of your child’s hand, under any circumstance, while crossing the road or navigating a busy road.
- Don’t park your vehicle on pedestrian crossings for your child to alight. It makes it difficult for children to cross the road and for other riders to see the crossing ahead.
- If your child is under ten years, don’t let him cross the road on his own. Children under ten can’t judge the speed at which a vehicle is moving. It’s necessary for an adult to always be with them when they cross the road.
Rules for school drop-off and pick up
- Slow down when you are driving near schools. Children often, in their eagerness, tend to dash across the road to get to school and this can cause accidents.
- Slow down if you see a school bus stop ahead of you. That means, children are going to get off.
- Drop your child on the same side of the road as the school. Don’t get them to cross the road to get there.
- While riding in threes on a bike is best avoided, if you need to drop more than one child in school, or if you need to ride with your spouse and young child, take less-crowded roads and use routes that involve more left-hand turns than right-hand ones.
- Avoid riding at night with your child on a bike. If it can’t be avoided, wear brightly coloured clothes or attach reflective tape on your clothes.
While children need to be aware of all the safety rules while navigating roads, parents need to supervise them as well as set a good example.
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