5 July 2009


Apologies for the length of this post, but please read it, 'cos your input is valuable.
Been a heck of a week - 1st July was the 5th anniversary of Dad dying after the car crash, always a rubbish date for us - but it was really topped off on Friday.
G's school has been taking part in a Road Safety scheme, set up by what I believe to be our local Road Safety Partnership. We thought it was a good idea so we gave our permission for her to be taken out of school with the rest of her class and learn about being safe on the roads (I must confess that I am more than a little psychotic about this topic, having had 2 serious RTAs myself, which left me partially disabled, and having lost my Dad - all through other people's lousy driving).
So when she came back on Thursday, I asked her what she'd been learning.

To cut a longer story a little bit shorter, she has been taught to cross the road behind parked cars because they act like a "second pavement and give you more protection". Yes, you read that right.

You stick your head out around the car to see if there's anything coming. If there is, you can jump back.

(I know.)

She can't have been paying attention, we thought. She's not understood the point.
Which made me a bit cross 'cos if you're going to teach a bunch of 6-yr olds anything this important, you flippin' well make sure they're paying attention, but hey ho.

But she was adamant that that's what had been said.

So hubby took her to school on Friday morning and collared her teacher. He told her what G had said and asked her to clarify this.
We were both fully expecting her to say that G had got it all wrong and to confirm that she would make sure she put it right.

Imagine our surprise when the teacher told us that it was in fact correct. (Keep reading; I can hear you swearing from here!LOL)

The bit G had got wrong was that she is supposed to check if there's anyone in the car and ALSO TO CHECK FOR REVERSING LIGHTS!!!!!!! She's 6!

Apparently, it's the new policy due to the increased amount of traffic on the roads these days.

I nearly passed out.
We've always taught her that you keep walking until you find a safe place to cross, away from parked cars, preferably a crossing of some sort. All the TV adverts and the Green Cross Code, etc, all say the same.
I understand that in big cities, there is not always a crossing immediately in front of you, so you keep going until there's a sensible place, surely? Besides, at 6, she isn't crossing any roads by herself.
There was no supporting literature given to her for us; all that was issued was a plastic reflector for her book bag.
I cannot express how furious I am about this.
Luckily, G herself thinks it's a rubbish idea, cos she can't see me from behind my car and I can't see her, so she doesn't get how it's safe to cross when neither one can see the other.

I am speaking with - or do I mean speaking at? - the Partnership tomorrow. Can't wait.

Your thoughts, please?