Road safety education

The road safety unit provides a range of road safety education and training programmes. This page gives information about some of those schemes.

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Here you will find information about a range of road safety education and training programmes.

Making sure that children are easily seen by drivers is especially important at this time of year when evenings are drawing-in.

Children are being urged to ‘be bright and be seen’ during the winter period.

Northumberland County Council's road safety team is supporting the Department for Transport’s THINK! road safety campaign and reminding children, parents and carers of some top tips to help them be seen when out and about on the roads.

Britain’s roads are among the safest in the world and the number of children killed has fallen by 82% in the past 20 years.

However, many children still died on our roads each year and we know we need to do more to cut this toll.

Making sure that children are easily seen by drivers is important all year round but especially at this time of year when evenings are getting darker.

Drivers and riders should also remember to keep a look out for children walking and cycling.

THINK!’s top tips for making sure children are visible when out on the roads are:
  • wear brightly coloured or fluorescent clothing which shows up well in daylight and at dusk
  • if you’re out and about when it’s dark, wear reflective gear to make sure you can be seen in car headlights - reflective vests, sashes or wristbands work well. Remember, fluorescent clothing doesn’t work after dark.
  • use accessories - even small items such as clip-on reflectors, fluorescent arm bands and stickers on your school bag are a great way to improve your visibility
  • if you like to cycle, remember that it’s the law to have clean and working lights at night (white at the front and red at the back) as well as a rear reflector
  • being bright isn’t the only way to stay safer - if you’re out at night, choose routes and crossing places that are well lit and remember to always use the Green Cross Code
Download the 'be bright and be seen' leaflet here.
The Road Safety GB North East group is made up of the 12 local highway authorities in the region, including Northumberland, three regional police forces and four fire and rescue teams. It works closely with other emergency services and is supported by Highways England.

The group aims is to help reduce road casualties through education, training and publicity campaigns, and to pool resources, skills and knowledge to provide a wider perspective on road safety issues. 

In December 2017 the North East Group’s ‘Look Out For Each Other’ campaign won Gold at the CIPR (Chartered Institute of Public Relations) North East awards, in conjunction with PR and marketing agency DTW.  

Judges said that the campaign: “Integrates a series of well-thought through mini-campaigns using hard-hitting messages and imaginative approaches.  It achieved very high reach, affecting public behaviour and positioning REGB NE as road safety’s leading voice in the region. It achieved its impact by using trends to target the most vulnerable road-user groups.” 

Follow this link to visit the Road Safety GB North East Group website and learn more about the campaign
Since 2008, all eligible schools with children aged eight to 11 within Northumberland have had access to ‘Bikeabilty’ cycle training, the national standard for cycle training.

Within Northumberland, training delivery is provided by a professional cycle training organisation on our behalf. Cycle Experience, who are fully accredited by the Cycle Training Standards Board, work throughout Northumberland.

Children riding bikes during a cycle training courseTwo levels of training are provided.

Level one: training is offered to all year four children (eight and nine years old) and provides basic cycling skills and observation training in an off road safe environment.

Level two: years five and six children (10 and 11 years old) undertake a minimum of 4.5 hours of training, part of which is undertaken on the public highway. This enables the theory of their training to be put into practice.
All instructors are professionally qualified and DBS cleared. All cycling on the highway is well supervised on routes that are risk assessed and signposted, advising other road users that cycle training is in progress.  

There is no charge to schools for the training. Courses are undertaken during term time to promote the high level of importance and to maximise the numbers of children able and willing to undertake the training.

Unfortunately not every school will allow this, so please ask your local school.

To ensure as many children as possible are able to access cycle training, we are able to provide a variety of back up bicycles and crash helmets that may be transported to schools for children who may not have access to them.

There is also a third level of training, available for children between years seven to nine, which involves more on the road training that will equip children with the skills to ride confidently and more safely on the road, especially if cycling to school.

Adults may also apply for professional cycle training but as NCC is unable to offer this, adult training would need to be provided by an independent provider.

Additional Information may be obtained from:
The programme delivers on-road practical training on the safer places to cross the road, together with classroom-based sessions confirming how to be safe and when and where to cross the road, together with confirming the dangers of road traffic.

Outdoor sessions require close supervision, with each route being carefully risk-assessed so children are taken out in small groups, supported by local school volunteers who are all disclosure and barring service (DBS) cleared.

Each year, 20 schools participate with the Kerbcraft programme, training approximately 1,500 children. Schools are subsequently revisited, and the children are provided with a refresher talk.

Additionally, pre-school children also undertake Kerbcraft training within nursery and reception classes, where approximately 200 children are given road safety information.

All children at three years of age within Northumberland are provided with the book Stepping Out Together - A Lesson for Life. This is distributed via health visitors and clinics, Sure Start centres, nurseries and reception classes.

Copies are also available direct from the road safety unit within county hall (0345 600 6400).
Ghost Street 12-16
Ghost Street is a new 10-minute DVD road safety resource developed by Newcastle road safety section, targeting young people aged 12 to 16 years, highlighting the dangers of distraction in a series of incidents involving:
  • speeding motorists
  • seatbelt usage
  • skateboarding
  • listening to music when crossing the road
  • mobile phone usage
  • cycle helmet safety
The film enables discussion to follow, so young people can reflect upon their own behaviour and attitudes as pedestrians on the roads. That will hopefully prevent further accidents and injury to this vulnerable age group.
SafetyWorks is an interactive safety workshop facility occupying the premises of the former Byker Grove film studio, located in Benwell, Newcastle.

Brake testing simulator for learner driversThe facility comprises of various safety scenarios including:
  • electrical and fire dangers within the home
  • dangers of open water and space
  • a Metro line and station
  • thefts from shops
  • a police station
  • a hospital casualty department
  • internet safety
  • dark areas within an urban environment
  • dangers of the road
The street scene facility includes a fully operational puffin crossing and a wall projected moving traffic scene.

The main partners of Safety Works are:
  • the five Tyne and Wear local authorities
  • Nexus
  • Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service
  • St Johns Ambulance
  • Sainsbury’s
  • The Environmental Agency
  • Northumbria Police
However, schools, older people and disabled groups from Northumberland are encouraged to use the facility and the road safety unit provides interactive educational talks specifically relating to a wide variety of road safety issues throughout the year.
ExpertRider is a development day designed to enhance your motorcycle skills, making you quicker, smoother, more confident and in perfect control.

Whether you are returning to riding, lack confidence, have upgraded to a larger bike or just want to polish your skills, our team of instructors can help.

It’s also the perfect excuse to go for a day’s ride on some of the most scenic roads in the North East.
A day’s session involves more than 100 miles of road work in a range of riding environments. It will help you to develop a riding style that gives opportunities for progress by:
  • reading the road
  • planning ahead for hazards and junctions
  • increasing vision through correct road positioning
  • correct use of brakes, gears and throttle
  • correct techniques for cornering
  • safe overtaking other road users
ExpertRider is flexible. It’s designed around you and is available to everyone, no matter what bike you ride or your experience. You can train with a friend or have one-to-one coaching.

All we ask is you have an open mind to enhance your skills and have a full licence, valid insurance and MOT.
There are two options for you to consider on your day with ExpertRider:

With a friend
This training will be on the basis of two riders who know each other and want to train together with one instructor. The cost for an ExpertRider train together day is £75 per rider.

On your own
This training will be on the basis of one rider being coached individually with their own instructor. The cost for an ExpertRider day is £150.

If you’re ready to take your riding to the next level, then simply:
  • Click here to download the application form.
  • Complete the form, making sure to include all details and your e-mail address.
  • Write a cheque for the correct amount made payable to Northumberland County Council.
  • Post the form and cheque to the address below.
You will then be contacted by a member of the team to confirm a suitable date and sent joining instructions.
ExpertRider Training
Road Safety Unit
County Hall
NE61 2EF

Tel: (01670) 624113
Please View ExpertRider is managed by Northumberland County Council in partnership with Northumbria Safer Roads Initiative, A+One, Northumberland Fire & Rescue Service and Northumbria Police.