Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation and Lake Macquarie City Council will join forces again in 2018 to reduce child pedestrian injuries and fatalities across the city.
Following the successful 2017 launch of the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation’s “Holiday Time; Slow Down, Kids Around” signage campaign the two organisations will erect signs urging motorists to take care while on the road. (ABOVE: Chief Inspector Brooks, Mayor Fraser and Michelle McLaughlin)
There were a staggering 1193 people killed on Australian roads in the 12 months to November, including 268 children.
Mayor of Lake Macquarie, Councillor Kay Fraser, said school holiday periods created a surge in the number of children using local roads and paths.
“Holiday Time; Slow Down, Kids Around is a highly visible and timely reminder about the importance of road safety, for both residents and visitors to be more aware of the increase in pedestrian activity in our area,” Cr Fraser said.
“We want all motorists to stay vigilant with their road safety awareness.
“Children are often in an excitable state during holidays, and when places are busy with people and cars, they can react impulsively and forget about road safety.
“That is why the Holiday Time campaign is so important. It puts the onus on drivers, parents and carers to recognise the potential danger in busy holiday spots and take extra precautions to ensure our kids are kept safe.”
NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol Command Chief Inspector, Phil Brooks, said children could be unpredictable on and around roads.
"Coming into the busy holiday period, we want parents to speak to their children about the possible dangers of being on roadways,” Chief Inspector Brooks said.
"Crossing the road, whether it is during school or holidays, is not a video game. There is no reboot or extra lives.”
The ‘Holiday Time’ campaign was established in 2014 on the Central Coast by the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation, after the tragic death of four-year-old Tom McLaughlin in a pedestrian accident during a family holiday. The campaign is now supported by 42 councils across four States in Australia.
Tom’s parents, Michelle and David, who founded Little Blue Dinosaur, now channel their energy into making school holidays safer for children.
“Holiday destinations are most often a new and unfamiliar environment for children and their families, with key visual roadway differences, including lack of kerbs/guttering, no line markings or footpaths,” Michelle said.
“Parents must have a conversation with their children and go through how they are expected to behave when they’re in this environment.
“We must be extra vigilant when there are so many additional children about these school holidays and always remember to hold hands with our children until the age of 10.”
Michelle said Little Blue Dinosaur was excited to be working with Lake Macquarie City Council again in 2018.
Holiday Time signs will be posted around the City at beaches, parks and other busy recreational locations.