Road Safe: Strategies for the community

Involving the community

It should be the concern of every parent/caregiver that their children are safe on the road as pedestrians, passengers, cyclists and drivers.

Both school and family have a role in teaching appropriate road safety skills, knowledge and attitudes.

The school should consult with parents/caregivers about the needs of students, and keep them informed about road safety programmes being run at school. Parents/caregivers can then reinforce these messages. Parents should also be aware of the importance of modelling safe road use practices.

Within the Road Safe series of resources, there are a number of opportunities for parents to be involved and informed, and they are encouraged to be part of the evaluation process.

A parent/community meeting

While it is sometimes hard to get large numbers of people to a community meeting, it is an effective way of sharing information with a large group of people. The Road Safe topic itself may be a draw card, and other ‘enticements’ could be added.

Form a committee

The meeting should not be the sole responsibility of the school. The organising committee should be a small group made up of people such as the School Community Officer, community constable or other Police officer, a school representative, a member of the Board of Trustees, and a representative from the Safer Communities Council.

Consider:

  • the date of the meeting – it could be before, during or after the students have started lessons about Road Safe
  • time – what time suits most people
  • venue
  • child care
  • invitations – who will be invited and how this will be done
  • publicity – this should be before and after the event, to ensure that as many people as possible in the community receive the important messages
  • special guests and speakers – this could include other Police staff, such as the Prevention Manager, Community Constable, Neighbourhood Police Teams
  • role of students – they could demonstrate work they have done as part of Road Safe, such as role plays, art work, brochures or posters
  • support – local firms and businesses may wish to support this initiative
  • agenda – plan a programme that is entertaining, informative, provides for interaction and questioning, and is not too long!

Sample agenda

5.00 pm           Teacher–student netball game

5.45 pm           Sausage sizzle – display of students’ Road Safe material

6.30 pm           Welcome by the principal

6.45 pm           Presentation of local road trauma statistics by Police staff

7.15 pm           Group discussion and formulation of questions on Road Safety for panel

8.00 pm           School Community Officer discusses the classroom component of Road Safe

8.30 pm           Panel of invited guests (Police, Council, AA); audience questions answered

9.15 pm           Cup of tea and personal questioning time