WATCH: Animating road safety for Northumberland schools

Schools across Northumberland are being offered a free animation that carries a serious road-safety message that can be shown on reception area plasma screens.

Northumberland County Council led, Go Smarter Northumberland, is a sustainable travel initiative that encourages pupils, staff and employees to consider more sustainable modes of transport as an alternative to the car. This could include walking, cycling, scooting or taking public transport – all of which are better for the environment and healthier for the participant.

The focus behind the two ten-second awareness animations, which can be watched above, is to highlight to parents and carers the dangers of inconsiderate parking and vehicles speeding in the vicinity of school buildings, with the aim of attracting interest from the 160 primary, first and middle schools across Northumberland. The messages being portrayed include Kids and cars don’t mix, Park away from schools and Slow down near schools.

Coun Ian Swithenbank said: “The issue of keeping young people safe is paramount, and the clever use of animation means that vital information can be creatively communicated in a short space of time.

“Go Smarter Northumberland does a wonderful job in coming up with new ways of promoting sustainable travel and issues of safety. We hope that schools in Northumberland grab this opportunity with both hands and show the animations for all to see.

“The council’s School Travel Plan team works closely with schools across the county to promote sustainable travel and also reduce car use. This in turn, encourages parents and pupils to leave their cars at home and travel more actively to school – giving many benefits including increasing the amount of exercise our children get, reducing traffic and improving air quality in towns.”

Motorists are also reminded that if they use School Keep Clear markings to park or drop off, they can be issued with a fixed penalty notice of £70; and inconsiderate parking near to school buildings is a hazard for pedestrians and other road users.

If teachers from schools across Northumberland are interested in gaining copies of the animation, all they need to do is email gosmarter@northumberland.gov.uk or call the Go Smarter Northumberland team on 01670 624117.

People can also find out further information about Go Smarter Northumberland by visiting www.gosmarter.co.uk