Pupils urged to be bright and be seen
The front of the postcard

The front of the postcard is shown above.

1 November 2010

Be bright and be seen – that’s the message to Milton Keynes’ 18,000 primary and junior school pupils this week as the second half of the autumn terms gets under way.

They have all been sent a postcard encouraging them to wear fluorescent and reflective clothing now that the nights are drawing in. The 6,000 boys and girls at the schools with the highest percentage of pupils who make the journey on foot are also being given high-visibility tags to attach to their bags or coats.

The campaign has been organised by the SaferMK partnership, whose members include Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service, to support the work already being done by Jessica Smith, Milton Keynes Council’s Schools Travel Plan Advisor.

She has sent schools a lesson plan and teachers’ notes, along with a wordsearch, crossword and colouring sheet, designed to make children more aware of the importance of being easy to see when they are walking or cycling to school

SaferMK’s Richard Solly said: “Thousands of boys and girls walk or cycle to school every day. We want to raise their awareness of the effect that the clocks going back could have on their safety.”

Christine Duncan of Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service added: “Pedestrians and cyclists are often involved in collisions simply because they are not easily visible to other people. It’s vital that they dress brightly so that they can be seen clearly by other road users, particularly at this time of year.

“Although the campaign is aimed at younger pupils, the messages obviously apply to secondary school pupils as well.”

The top safety tips on the postcards include:

  • Fluorescent clothes show up best in the daytime, especially in dull or misty weather, but are not visible in the dark.

  • Reflective material is best at night and shows up in car headlights.

  • Adults can set a good example to their children by wearing high-visibility clothing too.

  • When buying new bags and trainers for children, consider designs that include reflective strips or logos.

  • Cross the road beneath bright lights where it is easier to be seen by drivers.

  • Cyclists must have a white light fitted to the front of their bikes and a red light and red reflector at the rear.

  • Drivers should also ensure that they can be seen and see others by keeping their lights and windscreens clean.

At four of Milton Keynes’ 59 primary and junior schools, at least 90 per cent of pupils walk to school. They are Langland Community in Netherfield, Queen Eleanor Primary in Galley Hill, Water Hall Primary in Bletchley and Meadfurlong in Fishermead.

For more information about road safety for schoolchildren, visit http://talesoftheroad.direct.gov.uk or www.safermk.com