We supported Road Safety Week this November by promoting road safety awareness in schools. As part of our annual School Road Safety Campaign, we have also donated more than 1,700 hi-vis tops which will help the children to be seen and safe.
Campaigns like ours can play a vital role in educating children on the dangers of the road, particularly in winter. Road Safety Week is a great platform for schools, organisations and employers to get involved and highlight safety guidance and measures that can protect people.
According to The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) knowing how to use our roads safely is a skill everyone should have the opportunity to learn – yet a poll conducted by RoSPA and YouGov in 2019, revealed that 49% of children aged 6-11 have not received any form of pedestrian safety training in the past 12 months.
At Aptus we feel passionate that as a company with employees and families who live and work in the busy communities that we operate in, we need to do what we can to address this. Our HSQE Manager Delicia Maxwell has been at the heart of the campaign and tells us more about it.
In 2014 we decided to launch this project after working alongside housebuilders and developers and seeing the quiet rural communities of Lancashire grow busier. With more traffic and people about the need for road safety awareness is vital and we saw this as an opportunity to help raise awareness in young children.
The road safety campaign began with Aptus visiting primary schools and talking to the children about how to cross the road safely. We showed them the protective safety equipment we use such as cones, barriers, and reflective PPE. This has evolved each year and grown from focusing on Greater Manchester and Lancashire, to targeting schools across the whole of the North and Midlands.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, we forged ahead with our campaign by adapting the physical demonstration into a virtual presentation and delivered over a thousand hi-vis tops to schools.
When we went virtual, we adapted our presentation to make it more interactive, engaging and fun for the children who couldn’t handle the cones or try on our hard hats in our absence.
We developed the presentation to include voiceover, animations, sound effects, and videos. As well as including information such as the Green Cross Code, the guidance we share focuses on how to keep safe on the road, hazards to be aware of, and being ‘seen’ when crossing the road.
In 2020, through working with Stockport Sensory Support Service at Stockport Council we introduced a new audio element designed to make it more accessible for the visually impaired. This included adding noises of other road users to listen out for like cyclists and buses, and being aware of bad weather and how it can affect the traffic.
The message we want children to take away is to make sure they stand out by wearing brightly coloured clothing or clothes with reflective stripes, like the hi-vis tops we provide for them. The Aptus motto featured on the tops says: ‘Bright Sparks Get Seen In The Dark’ and we hope that the children remember to be smart and stay seen and safe by wearing them!
This year we’ve had fantastic involvement from our colleagues who have nominated schools the length and breadth of the country to take part; they include schools where they had previously been a pupil, or where family members were currently attending or working. This has been a huge advantage in helping us to get busy schools involved and incorporating road safety into their learning curriculum.
We have now donated more than 4,000 tops to schools! We are proud to have been able to get the message on road safety across to so many children and will continue to reach as many schools as possible in future, whether virtually or in person.