2020 has been a whirlwind of a year and September has crept upon us again. Despite all the changes to our lives this year, September still means the kids are back at school and the school run routine is starting again. Richard Gladman, head of driving and riding standards for IAM RoadSmart, the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, has pulled together some tips for parents, carers, drivers and riders to help ease us all back into the back to school routine.
• Start the first day/week of term the right way by making sure you allow yourself and the children enough time to prepare in the morning. This includes eating breakfast and getting ready properly for the day.
• Prepare for the school run. Make sure everyone has their seatbelts on and all bags are packed and loaded in the car before you set off. You don’t want to have to turn back around because you forgot the PE kits. Remember to allow a little extra time for the around the school area.
• It’s important to be mindful of how others may travel to school now due to government COVID-19 advice. The amount of traffic may vary from day to day and many may now opt to travel on foot or to or cycle. Be vigilant for other road users and respect everyone’s personal space whether driving or not. You may also find pavements have been widened for social distancing or pop up cycle lanes have appeared.
• Always watch your speed around schools, the motto of ‘20’s plenty’ is commonly used, this is the limit, not the target. Always help the school crossing patrol. You’ll probably receive a friendly wave and smile for your assistance.
• It’s important to set a good example while in and out of the driving seat as this can influence how your children drive. Maintaining a steady mindset while driving and teaching the children the right way to cross the road as pedestrians can be valuable lessons, that could help save lives.
Richard Gladman said: “Considering it has been such an unexpected year for us all, going back to school could be daunting for some, especially if you’ve had several months off. Now more than ever, it’s important to be prepared, anticipate what’s ahead and make responsible driving and riding decisions that put the safety of all road users first.”