The City of Casey has joined forces with the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation and the University of NSW – Transport and Road Safety Research Centre on an innovative new program to help improve child pedestrian safety around local kindergartens.
The Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to protecting child pedestrians from the ever-present danger of roadways and moving motor vehicles through a program of community education.
City of Casey Chair of Administrators, Noelene Duff PSM said Casey was proud to be involved with the project.
“Council is committed to improving safety for children and this partnership with the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation will help put pedestrian road safety at the top of all our minds,” Ms Duff said.
“Council is installing ‘Hold My Hand’ signs, created by the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation, outside ten City of Casey kindergartens to encourage greater awareness about pedestrian road safety.
“We have also purchased the Little Blue Dinosaur’s picture book, Tom’s Holiday, as part of a road safety kit for every City of Casey kindergarten to support discussions with children about pedestrian safety.”
The foundation was established in 2014 by Michelle McLaughlin, following the death of her four-year-old son, Tom McLaughlin due to a pedestrian-motor vehicle crash that occurred during a family holiday. Ms McLaughlin said research showed land transport crashes were the leading cause of death for Australian children aged between one to 14.
“Over the last decade from 2013 to January 2023, 587 children aged 0-16 years were involved in a road fatality crash, with 22 per cent of these fatalities occurring when the child was a pedestrian or a cyclist. On average, one child per week dies in Australia this way, and it’s entirely preventable,” Ms McLaughlin said.
“It is especially important for young children to hold their carer’s hand when around busy roads. My family knows first-hand the heartbreaking reality of losing a child to road trauma."
The study taking place in Casey will involve a parent survey about child pedestrian road safety, a community awareness/educational campaign, and a follow-up survey to gauge the impact of the project. The survey results will be available later in the year on the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation website.