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Road & driveway safety

Roads and driveways are very dangerous places for children. Five children are killed on roads and driveways each year. Teach yourself and your child road safety tips to keep them safe. Always stay with your child when they’re on the road, footpath or driveway.

Most children who are hurt or killed by a vehicle are around 2 years old. Young children don’t understand danger on the road because they:

  • they’re small, and the driver can’t see them behind or in front of their vehicle

  • don’t see and hear things the way adults do

  • don’t have good peripheral vision yet as their eyesight is not well developed

  • are easily distracted by noises or things such as animals

  • are short in height and so can’t see over or around things easily

  • can’t judge safe distances easily, and so may make poor decisions about crossing the road

  • may forget road safety rules if something unexpected happens, like their ball bouncing onto the road.

Safety tips to help keep your child safe on the road

  • Keep your pram or stroller on the footpath when you’re waiting to cross the road.

  • Don’t let your child play on the footpath, the driveway or the road.

  • Stay with your child when they ride a bike, tricycle or scooter on the footpath.

  • Check that your child wears a helmet and shoes when they ride a bike, trike, or scooter.

  • Hold your child’s hand when you walk with them. Your child should walk on the house side of the footpath.

  • Use ‘Stop, look and listen’ before crossing the road.

Important driveway messages

  • Take extra care when you’re in a vehicle on a driveway where children may be playing.

  • Know where the children are before getting in the vehicle – call out.

  • Drive forwards out of the driveway if you can. It’s easier to see in front than behind.

  • Check again for children before driving off. There’s no going back.

  • Always supervise children around vehicles.

  • Know where children are when visitors are due to arrive, or leave your home.

  • Build a fence between the driveway and your child’s play area—particularly if you share the driveway with a neighbour.

  • Separate play areas from driveways.

Visit the NZTA website for more road safety tips for children.

 

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