Schools across Northumberland are being offered a free animation that carries a serious road safety message that can be shown on reception area plasma screens.
Earlier this week, Councillor Ian Swithenbank of Northumberland County Council joined teachers and pupils at Seaton Sluice First School to help launch the animation promotion.
Northumberland County Council led, Go Smarter Northumberland, is a sustainable travel initiative that encourages pupils, staff and employees to consider more sustainable modes of transport as an alternative to the car. This could include walking, cycling, scooting or taking public transport – all of which are better for the environment and healthier for the participant.
The focus behind the two ten-second awareness animations is to highlight to parents and carers the dangers of inconsiderate parking and vehicles speeding in the vicinity of school buildings, with the aim of attracting interest from the 160 primary, first and middle schools across Northumberland. The messages being portrayed include “kids and cars don’t mix”, “park away from schools” and “slow down near schools”.
Gill Love, head teacher of Seaton Sluice First School, said: “We are always on the lookout for new and innovative ways of using our existing resources to promote important key messages such as road safety.
“The new animations will be a great way to inform parents and visitors to the school; and even provide content for our pupils to create questions for their peers.”
Councillor Ian Swithenbank, said: “The issue of keeping young people safe is paramount, and the clever use of animation means that vital information can be creatively communicated in a short space of time.
“Go Smarter Northumberland does a wonderful job in coming up with new ways of promoting sustainable travel and issues of safety. We hope that schools in Northumberland grab this opportunity with both hands and show the animations for all to see.
“The Council’s School Travel Plan team works closely with schools across the county to promote sustainable travel and also reduce car use. This in turn, encourages parents and pupils to leave their cars at home and travel more actively to school - giving many benefits including increasing the amount of exercise our children get, reducing traffic and improving air quality in towns.”
Motorists are also reminded that if they use ‘School Keep Clear’ markings to park or drop off - they can be issued with a fixed penalty notice of £70; and inconsiderate parking near to school buildings is a hazard for pedestrians and other road users.
If teachers from schools across Northumberland are interested in gaining copies of the animation, all they need to do is email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Go Smarter Northumberland team on 01670 624117.