10 Road Safety Rules you should teach your children

Anoop, my 6-year-old, recently learnt that we should cross the road only at Zebra Crossings. Ever since, he makes it a point to take us to a Zebra Crossing every time we cross the road even if it is quite far away and is placed in a relatively busier spot. I don’t want to admonish a child for following a rule so I patiently walk to the Zebra crossing with him every time we cross the road.

We are always around kids during their younger years. As they grow older, we let them out to play or let them cycle to stores or friends’ houses. It is advisable to teach them road safety rules before they start going out on roads by themselves.

Here are a few road safety rules for kids that you could teach your children:

1. Cross the road at the Zebra Crossing

Zebra crossings are placed in places where it is safe for children as well as adults to cross the road. Teach your children to cross the road only at Zebra crossings. While doing so, they should focus on the road, look both ways to check that there are no oncoming vehicles.

Help them gauge the speed of a vehicle and make them understand that they should cross only when vehicles are a safe distance away from the Zebra crossing.

A young boy crossing the road on a zebra crossing.
When you cross the road, first look left, then right, then left again, and cross.

2. Do not run on the streets

Kids are forever-excited about everything even if it is about crossing the road. Instinctively, they run on or across streets. Tell them that it is a strict no-no. Running through streets puts them at risk.

3. Always walk on the pavement

Pavements are meant for a reason but people tend to ride their two-wheelers on them instead of letting pedestrians walk. Teach your kids that they should always walk on the pavement, never on the road. Set an example by walking on the pavement even when the roads are empty to get your kids to practice the same.

A group of girls walking on the pavement.
Teach your kids to always look and listen while walking or crossing the road.

4. Do not stick your hand or head out of a moving vehicle

It’s dangerous to stick your hand or head out of a moving vehicle. Tell your children never to do this in a car or their school bus either.

5. Strap on seatbelts in cars

Seatbelts in cars protect us from injuring ourselves in case there’s an accident or if the driver hits the brakes all of a sudden. Before you start driving, make sure your kids are buckled up. If they start the habit of wearing their seatbelts at a young age, they will grow into responsible drivers in the future.

A mother helping her daughter with her seat belt.
Always buckle up!

6. Get off on the safer side of the car

When you stop your car, make sure you park by the footpath so that your child can get off the car on the side of the footpath. Since kids are tiny, they may not be noticed easily by other drivers and hence poses a risk for the kids. So ask your children to always get down on the side of the footpath.

7. Gear up for bicycle rides

Teach your kids to always gear up when going on bicycle rides – whether it’s to ride around with buddies or ride to school. Get them used to wearing a helmet, knee guards and elbow guards. If they’re riding in the night, make sure they wear bright-coloured shoes and clothing and not dark hues that camouflage in the dark.

A young girl cycling.
Make sure your kids strap their helmets on for their bicycle rides.

8. Do not cross near blind spots

Crossing a road from in between vehicles or any other large object can put kids at risk. Tell your kids that they should always cross from a clear area.

9. Know the traffic signs

Teach your child traffic signs one at a time. They should learn the basics of learning how to read traffic signals such as the red, orange and green lights. You can then teach them basic signs such as the stop sign, pedestrian walking sign, school zone sign, and so on.

A group of kids learning road safety rules.
Familiarise your kids to road signs.

10. Don’t play on busy streets

Kids playing on the streets makes it risky for kids and creates a nuisance to riders and drivers. Explain this to your kids and make sure they do not play on the streets or in parking areas.

I believe that when we teach our kids a rule – be it a road safety rule or otherwise, we should ensure we set an example by following it ourselves. That’s what motivates kids to follow the rules. So do follow the road safety rules yourself!


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