‘Please don’t drive your children to school’, Dutch parents told
A leading Dutch road safety organisation is urging parents and carers to stop driving children to school when walking or cycling is a safe option.
Veilig Verkeer Nederland (Safe Traffic Netherlands) is running a concerted campaign that calls on parents to avoid, where possible, driving their children to school as a means to helping improve road safety, particularly in urban areas.
The VVN has published new statistics which show that while some 80 per cent of youngsters live within two miles of their school, which is almost always in a residential area, almost two-thirds of children are dropped off by car. It says it receives reports of dangerous traffic throughout the year, and so the only effective solution is to ‘leave the car at home and take your child to school on foot or bicycle’.
Participation is Easy
In a country famed for its wide use of bicycles, it’s no surprise that the VVN’s research also shows that children enjoy walking and cycling to school more than being driven, while around 69 per cent of all people in The Netherlands would like to see school environments be made safer. The findings have led the VNN to promote its Participation is Easy campaign, through which it hopes to get some key, but simple messages across not only to motorists but the wider public.
While the Participation is Easy motto has been utilised by the organisation for around two years now, the VNN hopes that by relaunching the message it can make society aware that everyone can do something, however small, to make the roads safer, particularly for children. “Leaving the car at home more often and taking children to school on foot or bicycle are just examples of how we can make traffic safer together by making a simple choice,” it says.
The VNN has also set up a reporting point for anyone concerned about an unsafe traffic situation in their immediate vicinity. Anyone can file a report and it will be looked at by the VNN for any potential follow-up action.
Click here for more on the campaign (in Dutch).