Knowsley’s Road Safety team has launched a new campaign to highlight the dangers of crossing a road in front of a stationary bus.
The campaign is primarily aimed at secondary school pupils as they return to school this month and use the bus for their journeys to and from school.
Recent figures and feedback from bus operators show that there has been an increase in school children and other passengers, being involved in a collision, or near miss, because they have crossed the road in front of a stationary bus rather than waiting until it has moved away from the bus stop.
In some cases, drivers who were passing the stationary bus were able to avoid a collision with the pedestrian, but unfortunately this is not always the case.
Official figures show that a third of all road traffic collisions involving child pedestrians in Knowsley have occurred when the child was trying to cross in front of a stationary bus and been hit by a vehicle that was overtaking it.
The campaign, which will include eye catching messages on buses and at bus stops, also offers advice for drivers, reminding them to take extra care when passing a stationary bus and to be aware that pedestrians may try to cross the road and walk out into oncoming traffic.
Cllr Tony Brennan, Knowsley’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development said: “We take road safety very seriously here in Knowsley and we have a comprehensive education and awareness programme aimed at all road users. We know that children crossing the road in front of stationary buses is an issue and unfortunately in some cases this has led to very serious injuries and worse. This campaign highlights this danger and reminds secondary school pupils, and other bus passengers, to take their time when getting off a bus and to wait until the bus has moved away from the bus stop to cross the road.
“We are running the campaign throughout September as pupils return to school after the summer holidays and use the bus to travel to and from school. This is also an important message for Year 7 students who are starting secondary school and may be travelling independently for the first time.
“Whilst we are encouraging residents to choose more sustainable travel options where they can, we also want people to be safe as they travel around Knowsley and across the city region, whatever form of transport they use.”
The campaign has been funded by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.
Chief Superintendent Jonathan Davies, Chair of the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership, said: “As young people go back to school in September, we really want to get across the message that crossing in front of a stationary bus can have devastating consequences. For both pedestrians and motorists, taking just a little more time can be the difference between life and death. We hope this campaign will be the reminder that people need which will prevent any other awful collisions from occurring on our roads.
“I’d also urge parents and carers to talk to their children and make sure they’re aware of the dangers, and how to keep themselves safe.”