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Let’s be a good role model for our little ones.

Keeping your child out of harm’s way is crucial, and the road can be a dangerous place. Kids are dependent on us to teach them safe habits in and around vehicles.

'RACT RoadSafe' - brand new to Tasmanian Primary Schools

How much do your students or children know about road safety? RACT RoadSafe provides primary school teachers with a tool to better explore road safety with their students. Being a first for Tasmania, the online resource has a range of different learning tools that not only gives children in grades 3 and 4 an opportunity to further their road safety knowledge, but to also identify any knowledge gaps for individual students, classes, schools, regions, even the whole state.

Available for use in Tasmanian Primary Schools, students are provided with a unique username and password that allows them to fully utilise 'RACT RoadSafe'. Students complete quizzes, watch videos and use games and resources to further their knowledge.

It is recommended that teachers work through the resource as a class exercise to stimulate group discussion, before encouraging students to attempt exercises individually or in small groups. Teachers will have access to a separate 'dashboard' that provides an overview of their class's progress and allows them to identify areas that require some additional attention.

Road safety has direct links to the Australian curriculum. RACT is now asking for interest from Tasmanian schools for 2018. Click here to register your interest.

Child restraints

A properly fitted and secure child restraint is critical for the safety of your child. RACT provides and fits an extensive range of restraints at our Hobart, Launceston and Burnie branches, with fully ACRI accredited child restraint fitters. Call 13 27 22 to make a booking or click here to find out more about the seats we have available for purchase.

RACT also conduct education sessions which include community child restraint checks and child safety training for carers and organisations responsible for transporting people. Click here to register your interest.

Children and pets locked in cars

Children and pets locked in cars are always a top priority for our patrols. They will drop everything, regardless of whether the caller is an RACT Member.

In the last year, RACT patrols have rescued approximately 75 children and 77 animals who were accidentally locked in cars. Nowadays due to the sophisticated locking technology in modern cars it is very easy to accidentally lock a child or animal in a car.

Tips to avoid locking your children or pets in the car:

  • Wind your windows down before putting them in the car in case the car automatically locks
  • Never give your keys to children to play with because they can accidentally lock the car
  • Avoid getting distracted when you’re loading and unloading the car
  • Have an easy way to hold on to your keys to avoid locking your keys in your car this summer

RACT will always prioritise call-outs to car lock-ins involving children or pets, but the few minutes it takes for patrols to reach the scene can make an enormous difference in hot temperatures.

Importantly, if you do have kids locked in a car or vehicle:

  1. Keep calm
  2. Think clearly and act quickly
  3. Call 13 1111 immediately for roadside assistance
  4. Call 000 immediately for Emergency Services with any concerns about the child’s health

Download and print our children locked in cars posters below to help get the word out there.

Driveway safety

Do driveways require the same amount of caution as the road? Absolutely! As we all know, children can move extremely quickly and may not think of somewhere familiar and comfortable, like their home driveway, as a potentially dangerous place.

Keeping some of these simple tips in mind can help teach your child about driveway safety

  • When walking past a driveway, treat it the same as if your child were crossing a road, and always use Stop, Look, Listen & Think prior to crossing.

  • When reversing out of a driveway, don't rely on your parking sensors or reversing camera. Even with these car features, large blind spots as far as 3 metres may still not be picked up.

  • Make sure you not only check the rear-view mirror but look over both shoulders before reversing.

RACT will always prioritise call-outs to car lock-ins involving children or pets, but the few minutes it takes for patrols to reach the scene can make an enormous difference in hot temperatures.

NRMA Insurance assessed more than 80 popular family cars and determined the cars with the best reversing visibility. Click here to see the NRMA Insurance reversing visibility index.

In and around your car

Displaying good habits while driving will help influence your child to develop positive behaviours as they get older.

Seat belts and restraints

As the driver, you have sole responsibility for checking that your passengers are buckled in correctly before driving off, even if you are the one that puts the seatbelt on them.

Clear your car

Make sure that loose items inside the car are secured or removed as these can cause serious injury in the event of a crash. It's a good idea to provide only soft toys for your child to play with while travelling in the car. If you do need to transport loose or heavier items, cargo barriers that can be put in wagons, hatchbacks or vans are a great thing to have.

Safety Door

Try the "safety door" method. The safest way to get in and of the car is through the "safety door". This is the back passenger door that is closest to the footpath and furthest away from the traffic. A good technique to use once your child is out of the car is "touch the car, don't go far". By them placing their hand on the side of the car, they understand that they are to stay next to the car until you are ready to move away.

Watch the video below for more information.

Walking with children

As a parent, you have a very important role to play in teaching good habits, this includes being road safe. Talking through with your child how to be road safe doesn't need to be a scary thing and most of the learning for a child is done through experience.

Stop, Look, Listen & Think

Encourage your child to stop one step back from the road and look in both directions more than once. Start getting them to listen out for any noises they think would make it unsafe to cross a road. This could be cars but it also could be sounds like sirens, bells from a bicycle or even music. The last step is often forgotten so encourage them to think before crossing and this will help them not to make any last minute decisions.

The right place to cross

Choose the safest place to cross a road with your child, making sure you can see traffic in every direction and they can see you. This might mean that you have to walk a little further to an area of the road that is straight or an area with marked crossings.

Holding hands

Children often haven't developed the skills to be able to judge speed and distance and will often focus on one thing at a time. Holding their hand when walking anywhere there is traffic will help reduce the risk of them making a decision they might not be comfortable with.

Watch the video below for more information.

Children in the front seat

Making the decision to allow your child to sit in the front seat is never easy!

It's extremely important that we don't move children out of a booster seat before they are ready. While the legal age is 7, RACT advises to keep children out of the front seat for as long as possible. If you have to place a child in the front seat, move the seat as far away from the airbag as possible

A recommended height is approximately 145cm tall, which is actually an average height of a 10-12 year old.

Three step check

If you are considering moving your child out of a booster seat into the adult seat, we strongly recommend doing these three checks first. Place the child on the seat with their bottom firmly back and fit the seatbelt across the child.

  • Check the belt is running across their shoulder

  • Check the belt is running low across their hips

  • Check that their legs bend over the end of the seat

If you are still unsure, please contact RACT for further advice or view our child restraint brochure for more information.

Bike safety

Teaching your child how to ride a bike is a massive part of both your lives. As we all know, it's not uncommon for a child to injure themselves while riding their bike or scooter, being the fearless warriors they are! So, it's really important to start factoring in safety messages early so your child can apply them as soon as they're ready to ride.

It as easy as ABC!

Having a regular routine of checking the Air, Brakes & Chain before each ride is a good rule to remember:

  • Make sure there is enough air in the tyres before each ride

  • Test the brakes are in good working order

  • Check that the chain is attached and not broken

Safety gear

It's important for children to understand what helps keep them safe while riding their bike:

  • Wearing bright clothing when riding helps ensure they can be seen easily by other riders, pedestrians or cars.

  • A roadworthy bike is considered to have at least one working bell, horn or similar warning device to help let other around them know they are close.

  • By law, all bike riders need to wear a helmet, but more importantly because it helps keep them safe. This also includes elbow, wrist and knee pads especially when riding on a scooter of a skateboard.

Children under the age of 12 years old must not ride on the road under any circumstances and we recommend that they don't start until they have developed good stop, steer & start skills.