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Walk this way

THE ROAD TO SAFETY. Resource pack including video and activity book. Published by West Mercia Constabulary. Free to schools , education authorities and accident prevention departments Age range: 11-14

Each year thousands of children are badly hurt in road accidents. TES writers look at ways to reduce the toll

It's a sad fact that 270 children under the age of 16 died, and almost 45,000 were injured, 7,000 of these seriously, on the UK's roads in 1996. Anything that can help reduce this grim toll is especially welcome.

With this in mind, a community police department has enlisted the help of a local school to produce a video pack to boost children's awareness of traffic danger.

The Road to Safety, filmed by the West Mercia Police media resources unit and featuring pupils of Holy Cross School, in Shrewsbury, follows the fortunes of four children, three who know how to cross the road and one who hasn't a clue.

Emphasising the need to find safe places to cross and to use the Green Cross Code, the video incorporates a road safety song, written by Holy Cross teacher Martin Blizard and sung by the school choir.

Words and music are provided in the accompanying teacher's guide, together with starting points for discussions about road safety, and problem-solving activities that lead children to identify potentially dangerous situations. The package also contains a multiple-choice road safety quiz, and a word-search grid as well as a Green Cross Code poster.

The package is the result of a collaboration between West Mercia 's community police department and Shropshire County Council's road safety section. Designed as an easy and interesting aid to road safety teaching, it offers an opportunity for practical activities for schools and other groups and organisations such as Cubs, Scouts, Brownies and Guides.

Originally distributed among Shropshire schools, The Road to Safety is now available nationwide. For further information and a copy of the video and teacher's guide, contact the project's originator, PC Kevin O'Dwyer, at Divisional Police Headquarters, Clive Road, Monkmoor, Shrewsbury SY2 5RW. Tel: 01743 232888 ext 5767.

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