Don’t let kids un­der 10 walk to school

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS -

CHIL­DREN should be 10 years old be­fore be­ing al­lowed to walk to school with­out their par­ents, ac­cord­ing to road safety ex­perts.

Ahead of Na­tional Walk Safely To School Day on Fri­day, the Pedes­trian Coun­cil of Aus­tralia said par­ents were con­fused about what was the right age for kids to go it alone.

But chair­man Harold Scruby said “cat­e­gor­i­cally” that the right age was 10. He said younger chil­dren were eas­ily dis­tracted and un­able to judge car speed and dis­tance ac­cu­rately.

“This is ir­refutable ev­i­dence from all around the world,” Mr Scruby said.

“I am hor­ri­fied when I see lit­tle five-year-olds run­ning up to a cor­ner or traf­fic lights.

“It only takes some­thing small to dis­tract them and they’re out there on the road.”

The coun­cil said chil­dren aged un­der 10 should hold an adult’s hand while cross­ing a road. But kids aged eight and un­der should also hold a hand while on the foot­path or in a carpark.

At least one mil­lion pri­mary school chil­dren across Aus­tralia are ex­pected to ditch the car on Fri­day. The na­tional day of aware­ness pro­motes the health ben­e­fits of reg­u­lar walk­ing, as well as road safety.

Or­tho­pe­dic surgery ex­pert Su­san Liew said chil­dren risked life­long dis­abil­ity if in­jured dur­ing for­ma­tive years.

“The force of a bumper bar, for ex­am­ple, will cause more dam­age to tis­sue and es­pe­cially to vi­tal or­gans such as the brain,” she said.

Harold Scruby.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.