• Mum supports campaign in memory of 17-month-old son who died after being hit by a car – filming opportunity available
  • 220,000 children to take part in Brake's Beep Beep! Day with Timmy Time as part of UK Road Safety Week
  • Charity highlights extent of road danger for children – 6,706 children killed or injured while walking or cycling on roads in England in 2018 – equivalent to 18 children every day (regional stats available)

The mother of a 17-month-old boy, who died after being hit by a car in a hotel car park, is supporting a charity’s campaign to make roads safer, as it reveals that 18 children are killed or injured every day while walking and cycling on roads in England [1].

Cheryl Yates is backing Brake’s Beep Beep! Day in memory of her son Jackson who died in August 2017, in Yarm, North Yorkshire. Since Jackson’s death, Cheryl has set up her own charity Blue for Jackson to help raise awareness of road danger among parents and children. To mark UK Road Safety Week (18-24 November 2019), Blue for Jackson has donated 200 free Beep Beep! Day activity packs to schools and nurseries in her community.

Across the UK, more than 220,000 children aged 2–7 will take part in a Beep Beep! Day with Timmy Time on Wednesday 20 November to learn road safety basics. Beep Beep! Days are coordinated by road safety charity Brake with support from Aardman Animations and Timmy Time. Timmy is the smallest lamb in Shaun the Sheep’s flock, and his youth and inexperience make him the perfect character to help very young children learn important lessons about road safety. Timmy features in all of the resources included in the Beep Beep! Day activity packs.

To highlight the importance of talking to children, and their parents, about road safety, Brake has revealed the true extent of child casualties on the nation's roads. Latest official figures show that 6,706 children were killed or injured while walking or cycling on roads in England in 2018. This is nearly a nine percent reduction from the previous year when 7,332 children were killed or injured in 2017. However it still means that, on average, 18 child pedestrians or cyclists die or suffer injuries as a result of road crashes every day.

In 2018, of all regions in England, London saw the greatest number of child pedestrian and cycling casualties (1,137), while the North East saw the fewest (322). The South East will have the greatest number of children taking part in a Beep Beep Day! with Timmy Time this week, with an estimated 40,179 children.

Schools and nurseries will be running Beep Beep! Day activities this week as part of UK Road Safety Week, the UK’s biggest annual road safety campaign, which is also coordinated by Brake. This year, Brake is calling for people to Step Up for Safe Streets and celebrate the amazing solutions that are available to enable everyone to make safe and healthy journeys. The latest statistics confirm the need for safe streets with safe footpaths and cycle paths away from motorised traffic, so that children can walk and cycle safely where they live.

Children who take part in a Beep Beep! Day with Timmy Time will learn road safety basics, including the importance of safe streets for safe and healthy journeys, through a series of fun activities. Schools and nurseries can also take the opportunity to talk to parents and their wider community about how to keep children safe near roads. Beep Beep! Days are run in partnership with Churchill Insurance, and the project is now in its 15th year.

In 2018, an estimated 300,000 children, and more than 2,500 schools, nurseries or childminders, took part in a Beep Beep! Day. This also involved raising thousands of pounds to support Brake’s work campaigning for safer roads and supporting people who have affected by road crashes.

Beep Beep! Day with Timmy Time resources are hosted on Brake’s Zebras website for children, teachers and families. Find out more at brakezebras.org/beep.

Dave Nichols, community engagement manager at Brake, said: “Every child has a right to walk and cycle in their community without fear from traffic. As a charity that supports families who have lost loved ones in road crashes, we know only too well the heartache and devastation caused, especially when young children are involved. The good news is that people like Cheryl are making a difference in their communities by stepping up for safe streets and turning their situation into something positive. We’re grateful for her support and hope together we can help children, and their parents, keep everyone safe on the roads.”

Cheryl Yates, of Blue for Jackson, said: “This is our second year donating Brake’s Beep Beep! Day packs to local primary schools, which we started as a tribute to our son Jackson who was tragically killed when he was hit by a car in 2017. The packs really stood out to us as they are aimed at 2–7 year olds and focus on teaching road safety to a younger audience, which we feel is sometimes overlooked. The activities and songs make learning about road dangers engaging and fun for the younger audience.”

Helen Owen, headteacher at Layfield Primary school, Yarm, said: “Road Safety Week is the perfect time to engage children in an issue that affects them. It’s vitally important to us all at Layfield to help shape children's understanding of, and attitudes towards, road safety – to help give them the best chance of keeping safe while they’re young and as they get older. We incorporate a lot of activities and messages about road safety across the school year, but Road Safety Week allows us to focus on this as the nights draw in. Teachers and children love the Beep Beep! Day resources from Brake and have used them in assemblies, lessons and lunchtime activities. The resources help them share important messages through a range of fun and engaging activities. We are really grateful to our local charity 'Blue for Jackson' who have provided each class with a pack of resources to use throughout the week.”

Lucy Brooksbank, head of marketing, at Churchill Insurance, said: “We are very proud to have supported Brake and its Beep Beep! Day since the very beginning. The wide range of resources made available to those participating not only makes this a fun day, but a day that makes a difference and hopefully saves lives. Too many children die or are seriously injured on our roads each week. Beep Beep! Day is a great way of starting to talk to young children about road safety, as well as raising awareness among drivers, including parents and grandparents, of the need to drive with extreme care when young children are about.”

Laura Burr, Brand Manager at Aardman, said: “It’s great to be working with Brake. Learning about road safety is so important, and we hope that involving Timmy will not only help educate young children, but also add some fun.”

To find out more, or to register for a Beep Beep! Day, visit brakezebras.org/beep, call 01484 550061 or email beepbeep@brake.org.uk

[ENDS]

*** Hi-res images available here ***

Notes to Editors:

References

[1] Table RAS30043, Reported Road Casualties by region, local authority and road user type, England, 2018, published September 2019