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Highway Code for Kids: Road Safety for Children

Parents can use this free road safety guide explaining the traffic rules for children. Teach youngsters how to stay safe near the streets and highways around the United Kingdom.

CHILDREN’S ROAD SAFETY RULES: The Highway Code for children is a special version.

It teaches young kids the importance of crossing a road safely as well as providing all youngsters with a good understanding of road safety rules from an early age.

The UK Highway Code rules for children have been simplified to help kids understand road safety.

As a parent, there is no substitute for practicing the key steps with your children to prepare them for walking short journeys to school on their own.

The first action in children’s road safety is planning the journey to ensure everyone knows where they are heading.

Encourage your kids to leave plenty of time for the trip and they should always inform you where they are going and when they expect to arrive.

UK Road Safety Rules for Children

  • Always walk on a pavement or footpath if there is one.
  • Walk on the right hand side of the road (facing oncoming traffic) if there is no pavement.
  • Groups should walk in single file when there is heavy traffic, around bends, and at night.
  • Take extra care crossing cycle lanes because bicycles are more difficult to see and not as noisy as other traffic.
  • Hold the hand of any child younger than you especially when you are crossing roads.
Children Crossing Roads Safely

All children need to know how to cross a road safely. Teach kids the rules before they get left unsupervised around streets and highways.

After some practice in basic road safety, kids will soon develop confidence. They will learn how to make prudent decisions when crossing the roads.

These 5 road safety rules for children guides them into a better understanding of the dangers for kids near traffic.

1. Find a Safe Place to Cross the Road

  • Always use any available zebra, pelican or traffic light crossing.
  • Ask a police officer, traffic warden, or school crossing patrol (lollipop lady or man) for help crossing the road if they nearby.
  • If there is no crossing nearby, stop at a place where you can see along the road clearly.
  • Find a place to cross where all road users can see you and you can see all traffic.

Note: You can report a problem with a traffic light (e.g. if it is not working properly). But, the reporting process differs depending on where you live and what type of road the lights are on.

2. Stop and Look Around

  • Stop and stand on the pavement when you are ready to cross.
  • Stand back a short distance from the kerb but close enough that you can see all vehicles.
  • Take time to look around in both directions.
3. Look and Listen for Traffic

  • Children should use their eyes and ears to look and listen for traffic.
  • You often hear traffic in coming before you can actually see it.

4. Do Not Cross Until it’s Safe

  • If you see traffic coming, let it pass by.
  • Do not cross the road until there is a safe gap and you have enough time to reach the other side of the road.
5. Look and Listen While You Cross

  • Walk across the road (do not run) when it is safe.
  • Walk straight across the road to the other side (not diagonally).
  • Keep looking and listening as you safely cross the road.

Vehicle Passenger Rules for Children

The UK Highway Code for children laws are clear. They state seat belts and child restraints must be worn at all times when youngsters are riding inside a vehicle.

Children under 12 years of age and less than 135cm tall must use a child seat. It should be a seat manufactured and designed appropriately for their size.

  • Do not distract the driver or block their sight when they use the rear view mirror.
  • Never throw waste litter out of the car window and avoid waving or leaning outside the vehicle.
  • Do not open car doors or windows unless a grownup has told you it is safe to do so.
  • Always get out of the vehicle using the door which is nearest to the pavement side of the car.

Safety Clothing for Children

The United Kingdom gets its fair share of gloomy weather and especially during the winter months. Children need to be even more visible to all road users when adverse driving conditions prove to be less than optimum.

Thus, encourage your kids to highlight their presence. Wear bright or fluorescent reflective safety clothing at dusk, at night, or when they are out in bad weather.


Children’s Rules | A vital section helping parents establish house rules for small kids and toddlers.

News Articles about Children | Updated headline stories about the regulations for children and babies.

Highway Code for Kids: Children’s Road Safety Rules in the United Kingdom