The Safe and Seen in Suffolk – Road Safety “reflector” campaign is being launched in partnership with Radio Suffolk, Public Health, and Suffolk Roadsafe, to coincide with the clocks changing on 30th October.
Initially launched at the Suffolk Show, the campaign started with a competition to design an image to be printed on the reflectors. This was won by Georgina, a pupil at Abbots Hall Community Primary School, Stowmarket. Schools were then asked to sign up to receive the reflectors for their pupils. It is hoped that as many schools as possible will get their Junior Road Safety Officers to distribute the reflectors on or as near to the week beginning 31st October when the schools return from half term.
Where possible we would encourage them to do this as part of a non-uniform ‘Brightness Day’ to further reinforce the safe and seen message. Ideally, we would like pupils to be encouraged to attach the reflectors to their coats or bags so that they can be seen by drivers when they are out and about.
Caroline Angus, Public Health's Health Improvement Commissioner, said "Encouraging children and families to walk to school is important. It helps to keep them fit and healthy. The reflectors will allow them to be safer as they walk during winter, in darker mornings and afternoons."
The full Press Release is as follows:
Be Safe and Seen in Suffolk - Thousands of children to receive free safety reflectors as part of new road safety campaign
Suffolk County Council is working in partnership with BBC Radio Suffolk to launch a new road safety campaign this autumn – ‘Be Safe and Seen in Suffolk.’
The campaign will see over 12,000 badge reflectors given to primary school aged children, which can be worn on their coats or backpacks to reflect the beam of vehicles in darker conditions to ensure that children are seen as they walk with friends and parents.
The idea and concept for the campaign was developed earlier this year through discussions with BBC Radio Suffolk. A design competition took place as part of the events and activities at this year’s Suffolk Show with the winning design selected from over 190 entries.
A major part of undertaking this campaign was the determination to promote exercise, walking and physical activity amongst young people. It was understood that to achieve this, the children and their families needed to feel safe before stepping out during the darker months. So the reflector campaign was born!
The campaign is part of Suffolk’s Year of Walking, which celebrates walking in Suffolk, promotes walking events and encourages new walking opportunities. Children are most active during the spring and summer months. An average of around 65 minutes of activity a day in April drops to around 48 minutes during the colder months of January and February. Staying active promotes physical and emotional wellbeing and it is important that young people stay active as there is emerging evidence that suggests links between physical activity and better academic attainment and attention.
Suffolk County Council’s Road Safety Team and Public Health Team have invested £9,550 into the campaign to deliver enough reflectors to benefit over 60 primary schools across the county.
The campaign was officially launched at the Suffolk Show by Cllr James Finch and BBC Radio Suffolk at the beginning of June.
Councillor James Finch, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport said: “This campaign is all about keeping our children safe as they walk to and from school during the darker winter months. More than 60 primary schools have signed up to be part of this campaign and benefit from pupils receiving their own reflector. Our Junior Road Safety Officers in each of these schools will help to distribute the reflectors and we hope that the great voluntary work of these young people who help the council promote road safety is recognised. We are very proud of the Junior Road Safety Officer scheme and the work they do to educate pupils, parents and the wider community on road safety. We are pleased to be working with our colleagues in Public Health who have also contributed to the cost of this campaign and BBC Radio Suffolk as media partners to help get the message out to communities across Suffolk.”
Councillor Tony Goldson, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health said: “Improving the health and wellbeing of young people in Suffolk is a very important aspect of the work undertaken by the Council’s Public Health team. Helping to prevent obesity and the causes of poor health is part of the OneLife Suffolk programme that supports children and their families. I hope that by offering so many children a reflector they can wear to stay safe and be seen as they walk to and from school during the winter months, we give them the opportunity to stay active and enjoy walking as part of a healthy lifestyle.”
Presenter of BBC Radio Suffolk’s Breakfast Show, Mark Murphy said: “With dark winter days approaching, anything that can be done to raise awareness of road safety has got to be a good thing. These reflectors will not only make our youngsters more visible but also remind them every day to take care whilst walking to and from school.”