Road safety team's warning over mini scooter use
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Their warning comes as figures show that mini scooters were involved in each of the three most recent road accidents involving serious injury to children in South Gloucestershire.
In 2011, serious accidents involving children using mini-scooters occurred on Bradley Stoke Way, Bradley Stoke and Park Road, Thornbury. More recently, in February this year, a 10-year-old was seriously injured on Baileys Court Road while using a mini-scooter.
The figures means that since 2008 there have been 10 recorded accidents – both serious and non-serious – in South Gloucestershire involving young people using mini scooters.
Council safety officers work closely with local schools to train children to use mini scooters safely on and near roads, and parents and teachers are being urged to contact the team to book sessions.
Senior road safety officer Alan Hale said: “Mini scooters have become extremely popular in recent years and used with care, can be a fun and healthy activity for children.
“However this increase in road accidents involving children on mini-scooters is extremely worrying and we are urging parents and teachers to ensure that children are given proper tuition in safe scootering before they venture out.
“As a council, we have been running formal mini scooter training sessions with primary schools for several years and these have been extremely well received. About a third of schools took up the training in our first year of operation, and a fifth in our second, and we hope that more will join in.
“We’re also encouraging parents to ensure they are aware of where and how their children are using their scooters and to make sure they do not get too far ahead and out of control.”
The scooter training sessions are part of a suite of road safety interventions that South Gloucestershire’s team provide to the community, starting at post-natal groups and continuing through all age groups to senior citizens.
Children taking part in the scooter scheme are taught in groups of 10 and learn about basic road safety issues, the need for appropriate clothing including helmets and pads, and how to cross the road safely with their scooters.
The hour-long sessions also include guidance on using a scooter safely, including how to brake and manoeuvre.
Any primary school can request a session, which also includes training for a member of staff or parent volunteer who can then deliver the programme to other children within the school.
The road safety team can be contacted on 01454 863 607 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
Safe scootering – advice for parents
Do not let your child scoot on the road or in traffic
Beware of loose debris, gravel, etc – they can cause the scooter to stop suddenly and your child to be thrown to the ground
Children should wear bright or fluorescent clothing during the day and reflective materials in the dark as this will help others to see them.
Scooters do not have lights – the safest time to ride a scooter is during the day. Beware of loose laces, trailing scarves, hats/hoods that obscure the view of children or prevent them from hearing
Avoid steep inclines and don’t ride too fast – scooters pick up speed quickly and your child can lose control and fall
Be aware of other people using the pavement – children should slow down or stop if there is anyone approaching
Don’t allow children to jump off the pavement into the road to avoid pedestrians
Scoot away from the kerb
Watch out for fixed hazards – trees, lamp posts, etc
Look out for vehicles entering or exiting driveways
When crossing the road, STOP, get off the scooter and push it across the road – do not ride
Be aware of people around when waiting to cross the road – do not swing scooter around or do tricks while waiting
When scooting to school, do not scoot inside the school grounds
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