Highland children get road safety message from DFT Hedgehog

For one day only a Department for Transport Hedgehog will be visiting pupils at Raigmore Primary School, Inverness to spread the word about road safety.

The larger than life-sized hedgehog - who appears on cartoon tv adverts featuring “Hog Street” - promotes road safety and the green cross code.

Invited to Inverness by Lisa MacKellaich, Highland Council’s Road Safety Officer, the hedgehog was able to take one day out a very busy national tour schedule to help launch ‘Walk to school Week’ in the Highlands which takes place from Monday 2nd - Friday 6th October.

'Walk to School' is a campaign aimed at  parents, pupils and teachers which encourages them to incorporate regular physical activity into their daily lives by walking to and from school whenever possible. October is also International Walk to School Month - giving children, parents, school teachers and community leaders an opportunity to be part of a global event as they celebrate the many benefits of walking.

Lisa MacKellaich, Highland Council’s Road Safety Officer said: “Schools want to combat the problem of traffic congestion, parents want their children to benefit from regular physical activity  and pupils want to walk to school with their friends. Despite all this, there is still so much more that can be achieved with the Walk to School campaign. More than half our children are still not regularly walking to school. The number of cars involved in the school run is increasing and as a nation we are becoming less active.”

Laura Fisher, Northern Constabulary’s Force Road Safety Officer said: “Walking your child to school, where possible, is the best way to teach them road safety.  Children from an early age need to be taught where its safe to walk, when its safe to cross and the importance of using a proper crossing be it school patroller or traffic light crossings.”

Moira Leslie, Raigmore Primary School Head Teacher said: “As 2006 winner of the Scottish Education Healthy Living Award Raigmore Primary obviously places a great importance on promoting a Healthy Lifestyle for our pupils, parents and staff. A very important part of this Health Promotion is encouraging participation in physical activities both in and out of school. Taking part in Walk to School week is a great way of highlighting the importance of an active start to the day by something as simple and achievable as walking to school. The majority of our pupils do already walk to school but this campaign reinforces the message and also rewards them for their efforts. We have great pleasure in supporting this campaign.”

Further information about Walk to School Week can be found at www.walktoschool.org.uk/
and for children the DFT Hedgehog  can be found at www.hedgehogs.gov.uk.

For further information please contact:

Lisa MacKellaich, Highland Council’s Road Safety Officer tel: 01463 702690.
Laura Fisher, Northern Constabulary’s Force Road Safety Officer tel: 01463 720407.

27 Sep 2006