Saturday 21 September 2019

Do you know the code? How you can stay safe on the road

 

Safe Cross Code
Safe Cross Code

RSA Expert

Special competition, now in its fourth year, encourages children to show us and others how to cross road safely.

Do you know the code?

1,2,3, Safe Cross;

4,5,6, Safe Cross;

1,2,3,4,5,6, Safe Cross Code

Remember: One, look for a safe place.

Two, don't hurry, stop and wait.

Three, look all around and listen before you cross the road.

Remember, Four, let all the traffic pass you.

Five, then walking straight across you.

Six, keep watching.

That's the Safe Cross Code!

Whether seven or 70, you probably know the Safe Cross Code song.

Originally written by Chris Darby, it was first recorded by Brendan Grace back in 1974 and was learned by a generation of 1970s children.

Fast forward to 2019, its core road safety message is still as relevant today as it was 45 years ago. So, we decided to bring a re-packaged Safe Cross Code to a new generation of schoolchildren.

We have updated it to the modern way to learn that involves all the senses.

The Safe Cross Code song, while a fun way to learn, uses visual, aural and verbal learning styles of teaching serious and valuable messages around good road behaviour.

Making sure you cross in a safe place where there is good visibility in both directions, waiting for traffic to pass, and being observant at all times are all useful pieces of advice to keep pedestrians safe.

But some children also prefer to learn 'kinaesthetically'.

That means they learn better using their body, hands and sense of touch.

So with the updated Safe Cross Code song comes a new dance, a fun, 'kinaesthetic' way to learn how to cross the road safely practised in playgrounds and schoolyards all over the country.

The RSA has launched the Safe Cross Code Dance Competition 2019 for primary school students.

Now entering its fourth year, the competition encourages children to show us, and others, how to cross the road safely.

Along with their teachers, students nationwide, from junior infants to sixth class, recreate the dance, performing the song in either Irish or English, for a chance to win great prizes for their school.

Schools not only get to have fun but also to learn valuable life lessons.

Every year, we get creative entries with high levels of choreography from everywhere. In 2018, Castletown girls school in Dundalk were our English-category winners and Scoil Mologa in Dublin took the Irish-category award.

Learning good road safety behaviour at a young age lasts a lifetime.

Teaching children, the most vulnerable of road users, how to cross the road safely is such an important life skill. Unfortunately, we have seen in recent years just how vulnerable pedestrians of all ages are on our roads.

In 2018 42 pedestrians were killed on Irish roads. In a year when road deaths declined by 5pc compared to 2017, pedestrian deaths increased by a third. That is a worrying trend.

There are many ways in which we can all work to keep pedestrians safer - encouraging motorists to slow down and drive at an appropriate speed, not to drink and drive, and to put their mobile phones away is one.

Education plays a crucial role in permanently reducing deaths and injuries on Irish roads. If we can instil the importance of road safety to the very young, we will start them on the right journey as road users.

So if you know any primary school students who are creative, like to dance and want to support road safety messaging, encourage them to take part in the Safe Cross Code dance competition.

It's really easy to enter and all the details are on www.rsa.ie. Teachers have until May 10 to submit their pupils' creation, show their support for road safety and have some fun at the same time!

If like me you're well past the age limit to qualify for an entry to the competition, then maybe a reminder of Judge's words from Wanderly Wagon are in order remember: One, look for a safe place. . .

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