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Cartoon of children driving a cardboard car.

Effective road safety education helps students contribute to everyone’s safety over the long term.

There are 2 goals of road safety education.

  • Young people gain the competencies to be responsible, safer citizens on our roads.
  • Young people take steps to improve road safety in their community.

NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi promotes a whole school approach to road safety education that includes the school curriculum, school ethos and organisation, and community partnerships. Children, whānau, teachers and other agencies are all involved.

Road safety and the curriculum

Teachers can use a pedagogy that makes learning interesting, relevant, authentic and enjoyable for students. Road safety becomes localised and personalised. It can act as a context for curriculum delivery across learning areas.

Learning experiences range from concise teachable moments to longer units with rich learning intentions. This promotes deep learning and influences lifelong choices and behaviours. Students are given sufficient opportunities to learn.

Student learning may cover:

  • everyday life with family and whānau
  • school rules and the school’s transport environment
  • how students get to and from school
  • community attitudes towards vehicles and roads
  • relationships with their peers
  • road rules
  • road engineering
  • vehicle safety features.

School ethos and organisation

Student learning is influenced by positive culture, policies and practices. This is obvious when road safety becomes a part of ‘what we do around here’.

Road safety in a school’s ethos and organisation may be demonstrated by:

  • a school road safety education policy and procedures maintained through consultation
  • enthusiasm for road patrol
  • professional development for teachers
  • road safety curriculum resources being used by teachers
  • caregivers being considerate of safe school travel
  • EOTC planning that minimises risks around roads and rail
  • road safety messages, preferably student-developed, in school newsletters
  • community members reporting dangerous road use.


Working with community partners

Schools may work with councils, police officers and community organisations. Teachers can use these relationships to enhance learning.

School community partnerships include:

  • police officers and school travel coordinators visiting the school to hear concerns, plan road safety solutions and help students learn
  • parents and caregivers adhering to safety guidelines
  • the school community taking action in response to dangerous road use
  • students influencing the transport environment by promoting safe road use or advocating changes to local rules or road design.


Next page:

Effective approaches to road safety learning

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