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Drivers told to be on full alert for children near roads as schools close

Drivers and riders must stay alert to children walking or playing near roads without supervision in the coming weeks.

IAM says drivers need to have all their senses on alert and anticipate unpredictable behaviour on residential streets

With partial closures now in effect at schools in the UK, road safety charity IAM RoadSmart has warned that drivers and riders should watch out for children crossing the road at unexpected times.

In particular, it warns that children could be distracted by their smartphones, their friends or just by being out, rather than focusing on the dangers of the road.

Youngsters aged 10-14 are most at risk, with road crashes accounting for over half of all unexpected causes of death in this age group.

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “We urge all drivers to be aware that some youngsters will be out and about and possibly more distracted on their smartphone and chatting to their friends than looking out for traffic. Their minds are often not on crossing the road safely.

“Drivers need to have all their senses on alert and anticipate unpredictable behaviour on residential streets.”

IAM RoadSmart also reminds parents that they need to play a part in their children’s road safety knowledge, including regular reminders that they need to pay attention to their journey and not their smartphone screen.

The charity has also highlighted how it’s vital that everyone takes responsibility for minimising the pressure on the emergency services during this national health crisis – including by concentrating on safe driving when it is essential to travel.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.