Ditch the Distractions

This web page is for organisations and individuals interested in supporting the new 'Ditch the Distractions' road safety campaign through the coming academic year.

You can download the campaign posters for display or distribution:

These posters should be displayed in areas where both children and parents can see them clearly. Please take care not to post where there may be restrictions, or you do not have prior agreement.

This leaflet's full of great safety advice for parents:

We also have a generic article which you might consider using and amending for use in your own channels.

Your support is very much appreciated.

The Campaign

The purpose of the campaign is to reduce the number of incidents where eleven to fifteen year olds are killed or injured on the road. It aims to encourage pupils who are new to high school (i.e. eleven years olds) to stay focused and reduce their levels of distraction when they walk to and from school.

It is being funded by the Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership and Staffordshire County Council during the next academic year directly into twenty schools(Seventeen schools from Staffordshire and three from Stoke on Trent are taking part).

At the heart of the campaign is this video game along with its related information pages and prize draw: www.ditchthedistractionstaffs.info

Key Messages

For Children:

  • Pause your MP3
  • Stop fooling around
  • Stop texting
  • Ditch the distractions

For Parents:

  • Rehearse the new route to school with your child
  • Make sure they have plenty of time to make the journey
  • Take extra care when driving past schools

What's happening?

Road Safety Education Officers (RSEO) from Community Highway Liaison, Staffordshire County Council and equivalent officers from Stoke on Trent City Council will visit each of the selected schools. Working with the children the RSEOs will explore the following factors:

  • 'Messing about': it's an exciting time in their lives and peer pressure can encourage young people to walk in groups and 'mess about'.
  • Portable digital devices: there's been a huge rise in Smartphone ownership and the use of games, texting and social media peak directly before and after school.
  • Unfamiliarity: on a familiar journey young people are usually aware of danger hotspots, however when using an unfamiliar route this knowledge is not yet in place.
  • Time: a quarter of young people involved in accidents report that they do not give themselves enough time to get to their destination.

At the same time media coverage will be used to remind parents of the importance of rehearsing new routes with their child and giving themselves ample time to drive carefully around schools.

Additional resources

RSEOs also offer a series of road safety presentations to secondary schools within the Staffordshire County Council areas.

For enquiries: roadsafetyeducation@staffordshire.gov.uk