FIREFIGHTERS visited Castle Mead School in Trowbridge on Wednesday (May 6) to talk to children about the importance of road safety, as part of the third annual UN Global Road Safety Week.

The awareness week called Save Kids Lives, which runs from May 4-10, aims to highlight the plight of children on the world’s road and generate action to better ensure their safety.

Every year around the world 186,300 children under the age of 18 die from road traffic crashes annually, and rates of road traffic death are three times higher in developing countries than in developed countries.

In Trowbridge, local firefighters spoke to children at Castle Mead School about road safety and handed out reflectors that can be attached to school bags. They also provided information leaflets for parents, produced by Swindon-based fleet management company Arval.

Ian Hopkins, road safety development manager for Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service, said: “The World Health Organisation has identified ten strategies for keeping children safe on the roads.

“Some of these can be easily achieved through educating children about the risks, and giving them and their parents a better understanding of how they can protect themselves.

“This global road safety week will see events being held all over the world, and this can only help us all to spread the word about staying safe.”

Over the week, hundreds of events are being hosted by governments, international agencies, civil society organisations, and private companies.

The ten strategies highlighted by the World Health Organisation include controlling speed when driving, reducing drinking and driving, using helmets for cyclists and motorcyclists, restraining children in vehicles and improving children’s ability to see and be seen.

Other strategies include enhancing road infrastructure, adapting vehicle design, reducing risks for young drivers, providing appropriate care for injured children and supervising children around roads.

Locally, young people on the cusp of learning to drive see the Safe Drive Stay Alive presentation, a Wiltshire and Swindon road safety initiative coordinated by Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service on behalf of a partnership including Wiltshire Police, Wiltshire Council and SWIFT Medics.

The Wiltshire & Swindon Road Safety Partnership also supports a number of initiatives around keeping children safe while walking to school.

For more information about the UN Global Road Safety Week, visit