‘​Look Up’ awareness campaign will help save children’s lives - Susan Dalgety

I recall my first brush with the law – aged only six – with startling clarity, even though it was a very long time ago. ​I was crossing the narrow village street to my grandmother’s house when I heard a squeal of brakes, followed by a large policeman shouting at me.

So engrossed was I in my daydreams, I had not looked left or right when crossing the road and walked straight into the path of an approaching police car. Luckily for me, the constable had quick reflexes and slammed on the brakes just in time to prevent me from becoming roadkill.

His anger at my stupidity scared me a little, but looking back, the poor man was clearly in shock. If his car had hit me, it would have been entirely my fault, but I doubt if that would have given him much comfort.

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Fast forward to the present day, and my road sense hasn’t improved, as my husband will attest, but I am very careful to school my grandchildren in crossing roads safely, and that includes keeping their phones in their pockets when we are out and about.

Checking Minecraft is not allowed. So I was delighted to learn about the new Look Up campaign, started by children’s newspaper First News, and supported by the Evening News.

A classroom of children (28 kids) is killed or seriously injured on our roads every week – a shocking figure – and increasingly mobile phones are the cause of accidents.

Children are so distracted by their screens that they run the risk of being run over. And the peak age for road accidents is 11 and 12, just when children get their first phone and start going to school on their own.

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The Look Up campaign wants every school to hold a special assembly to alert children to the dangers of walking with their phone, and I hope Edinburgh City Council education department takes note.

First News has prepared a special campaign pack for teachers, so much of the work has already been done for them. A few minutes out of the school day to teach youngsters some essential road safety rules could save lives, and a lifetime of misery for grieving families.

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