Road safety for seven to 11 year olds

At seven years old, your child might still hold your hand as you walk them to school - a few years later your child may be going to school without you. It's important to know ways your child can be independent while staying safe on the roads.

Knowing the Green Cross Code

Children should not go out alone until they are old enough to know the Green Cross Code and use it properly. The age is different for all children but it is generally not before they are eight years old. 

To follow the code, they must:

  • find a safe place to cross
  • stand on the pavement near the kerb
  • look all round for traffic and listen
  • if traffic is coming - let it pass then look all round again
  • when there is no traffic near, walk straight across the road
  • keep looking and listening for traffic while crossing

When walking along the road

Walking is healthier than going by car. But your child can't always see what you can see and drivers can't always see your child, where they can see you. You could teach your child to:

  • always walk on the pavement or path if there is one - never stray on to the road
  • walk as far away from the kerb as possible
  • walk in single file on the right side of the road facing the traffic if there's no pavement

When you are out and about

Always be sure to:

  • explain road safety rules
  • use the Green Cross Code
  • talk about what's going on in the street
  • encourage your child to talk about what they see on the roads and whether it's safe or not
  • let your child make decisions with you, so that they learn through activity
  • help your child plan the safest route whenever they are going somewhere

Using crossings

Teach your child to:

  • always use the Green Cross Code
  • wait at the kerb by the crossing so that drivers know they want to cross
  • at a signal crossing, press the button and wait for the green man to light up and never walk out while the red man is showing, even if the cars have stopped or other people are crossing
  • always walk over the actual black and white stripes of a crossing - many accidents happen around crossings
  • never cross the road while using their mobile phone or while listening to music on head phones
  • stay alert at all times, remember cyclists and motorcyclists use the roads as well as drivers
  • where there is an island

Bus safety

Make sure your child knows:

  • to stop, look and listen before they cross any road
  • that they should stay on the footpath or the verge until the bus has moved far away
  • to act sensibly on and around school buses
  • about the dangers of traffic being hidden from their view by the school bus
  • never to cross the road in front of the bus

As a parent or child's guardian, you have responsibilities for their safety.

Getting to school safely

To read information about the Highway Code for cyclists, go to:

More useful links



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