Time to ‘Slow Down, Kids Around’
Residents will notice “Holiday Time: Slow Down, Kids Around’ signage will be appearing around the Shoalhaven this summer as Shoalhaven City Council work together with the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation to ensure our roads are safer these school holidays.
The ‘Holiday Time’ campaign was established in 2014 on the Central Coast by the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation, after the tragic death of Tom McLaughlin in a pedestrian accident during a family holiday.
Mayor Amanda Findley said Shoalhaven has joined 29 councils from around Australia in the campaign to remind motorises to be mindful of child pedestrian safety this summer.
“We are incredibly lucky to live in a region where thousands of people want to spend time with their families but we need to vigilant on our roads,” Clr Findley said.
“Children visiting or on school holidays enjoying our wonderful parks and beaches often don’t know the dangers of our roads.
“These signs have been in appearing throughout our coastal villages for two years now and the campaign is a reminder to both residents and visitor to be aware of the increase in pedestrian activity in the area.”
Little Blue Dinosaur founder and CEO Michelle McLaughlin said she was delighted Shoalhaven City Council had come for the third year of the campaign.
“Busy holiday places such as these – with roads, shops, parks and beaches all close together – are exactly the kinds of places our message is most needed,” Michelle said.
“Children on holiday are very excited, and road safety is more often far from their minds.
Michelle and her husband David formed the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation as a legacy to their son Tom, who died when he was hit by a car on a family holiday on the NSW Central Coast in January 2014. He was just 4 years old.
“We lost Tom in the blink of an eye,” Mrs McLaughlin said. “We don’t want this to happen to anyone else.
“Experts have told us that, because children are small, and their brains aren’t fully developed, they can’t make safe choices around traffic. We must hold their hands right up until age 10, and supervise them closely until they are 12.”
Mrs McLaughlin said a pedestrian struck by a car travelling at 50kmh was twice as likely to die than if they were struck at 40kmh, and the chances of survival improved the slower the vehicle was travelling.
“That’s why the messages ‘Slow Down Kids Around’ and “Hold My Hand’ are so important,” she said.
In Australia in 2016, 1,295 lives were lost because of road trauma, at a cost of $27billion.
“Since we lost Tom, 70 more children have died when they were hit by cars, and thousands of others have been hospitalised,” Mrs McLaughlin said. “The cost – emotional and financial – is just too high.”
The ‘Holiday Time’ signage can be found at:
- Callala Bay / Beach
- Basin Villages
- Sussex Inlet
- Mollymook Milton
- Hyams Beach
- Bendalong / Manyana
- Lake Tabourie
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