Kerbcraft is a road safety scheme which teaches children how to be safer pedestrians. Funding within Torfaen is provided by the Welsh Government and Torfaen County Borough Council, and the council is currently asking drivers to assist with the training.
During the 10-12 week course, road safety officers and volunteers take primary school children out to real roads and show them how the right decision-making and behaviour can really help them to keep safe. The children learn skills including how to choose safe places and routes to cross the road, crossing safely near parked cars and crossing safely near junctions.
Lesley Rosser, Child Pedestrian Training Co-ordinator for Torfaen, said, “We train more than 1,000 children per year across the borough, and in late September we started training 17 primary schools.
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Don Leahy, a long-standing volunteer with the Kerbcraft scheme in Monmouthshire recently explained why he’s committed to helping children to stay safe as pedestrians.
“About 10 years ago, that’s when I began my ‘career’ as a Kerbcraft volunteer. Working with children who are 6 or 7 years old has proven to be the single most satisfying experience of my long working life.
“These children are, in the main, incredibly keen to learn. Watching them change from nervous, insecure pedestrians into confident, safety-conscious youngsters is a joy to behold and the pleasure I get, when they tell me how to cross the road safely, is truly immense. This is the ultimate test for me and shows that all of the time spent with them has been completely worthwhile.
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It was a busy week for Rhondda Cynon Taf's Road Safety Team with a string of events and activities taking place across the borough to promote Road Safety Week.
The team worked in partnership with Dan Brain from Halfords to carry out child car seat checks at Asda in Aberdare and to give help and advice on ways to stay safe. They also had the help of the Junior Road Safety Officers from Cwmdar Primary School in Aberdare as well as another special visit 'Zarla the Zebra' the road safety mascot. Several parents took up the opportunity to have their child's car seat checked to ensure they were as safe as possible whilst travelling in the vehicle.
The Junior Road Safety Officers (JRSOs) in RCT were very busy carrying out their own tasks for Road Safety Week. JRSO's at YGG Llyn-Y-Forwyn, Our Ladys RC, Tylorstown and Penygraig Junior School presented 'Be Bright Be Seen' assemblies as well as acting out a short play on the importance of wearing bright clothing near the road particularly when its dark. Treorchy Primary JRSO's also designed their own PowerPoint on road safety and presented it to the whole school. JRSO's at Llwynypia Primary carried out a parking operation along with RCT Road Safety Officers and the Civil Enforcement Officers to prevent parents from parking on the yellow zig-zag lines.
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Year Three pupils in Usk Primary School who completed the national Kerbcraft pedestrian training programme have been presented with certificates by the Chairman of Monmouthshire County Council, Councillor Brian Strong.
Accompanied by Monmouthshire County Council’s Kerbcraft training staff and parent volunteers, the children have been taught to recognise appropriate places to cross roads and acquire skills to become safer pedestrians.
Usk Primary is just one of many schools that participate in the Kerbcraft pedestrian training scheme managed by the council. Offered to all schools in the county, the Welsh government-funded scheme is administered by three staff assisted by over sixty volunteers. In the previous 12 months, over 900 children in Monmouthshire have received Kerbcraft training.
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