Small Steps Scheme

Parents of primary school children said road crashes were the most worrying threat to their children particularly as most child pedestrian crashes happen close to home, on residential roads.

During school term time, crashes peak between 8.00-9.00am and between

3.00-6.00pm as children travel to and from school. Crashes also increase during the summer months when children spend time playing outside without supervision.

A child is fifty times more likely to be involved in a collision with a car than to be taken by a stranger!

Children are our most vulnerable road users and although there has been a reduction in the numbers of children being killed or seriously injured on our roads it remains true that Great Britain still has one of the worst rates in Europe for child pedestrian casualties. 

The Government had set a target, for December 2010, to reduce the number of children killed or seriously injured on the road by 50%.  In Kent, as at 31st December 2010 this figure had fallen by 61%. 

The 2020 target is to reduce the current figure to 40%. 

In order to continue towards reducing this statistic, Small Steps was developed from the pilot Kerbcraft scheme which was successfully tested in Folkestone from January 2003 until March 2006.

Training is carried out in school time and is taught on a real road environment and is split into three elements:

  • Finding a safer Place to cross
  • The dangers of Junctions
  • Crossing between parked cars.

The project is aimed at Year two children and involves parents, teachers & project staff working together to help make our children safer pedestrians.  The children are taught essential skills of how to establish both safe and dangerous roadside situations and how to effectively deal with them.

The skills are taught over an eight week (One session per week) period giving the children time to absorb the information given between sessions and to build on what they have learnt.  It is a foundation for a significant life skill and a highly effective way to impart pedestrian skills in young children.

The scheme is run by a Kent County Council Small Steps co-ordinator and the children are given practical roadside instruction by trained volunteer instructors.  It is important that children and parents are aware that no child is being taught to cross roads on their own.