Nationwide Building Society

Nationwide Building Society

October 21, 2005 05:00 ET

Nationwide Building Society - An Extra Eye To Watch Your Kids

SWINDON, ENGLAND--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 21, 2005) - As the clocks go back on Sunday 30 October, millions of school children across the UK will be making their journeys to and from school in much darker conditions. Once again, Nationwide's initiative is supporting the Government's objective to reduce the number of children killed or seriously injured on our roads by distributing one million pedestrian safety reflectors, or "Cats' Eyes", to every Year One primary school child in the country.

Each reflector works by lighting up into a bright "Cats' Eye" as soon as a car's headlight catches it. By attaching a reflector to a school bag or coat using the clip provided, children will increase their chances of being seen by motorists. A child pedestrian can be visible at 150 metres to a driver using low beam headlights whilst wearing a Cats' Eye reflector, compared to only 30 metres without one.

A recent Government announcement revealed that the number of children killed or seriously injured in road accidents in 2004 fell by 43% when compared to the baseline average 1994-1998. This means that the Government is near to achieving its target, announced in the year 2000, of reducing the number of children killed or seriously injured on the roads by 50% by the year 2010 (when compared to the baseline average 1994-1998).

To help increase children's awareness and understanding of the importance of road safety, Nationwide has also produced some curriculum-linked road safety worksheets which are available via http://www.nationwide.co.uk together with links to other useful road safety websites.

Stuart Bernau, executive director at Nationwide, said: "With the return of long winter nights, our children face greater risks on our roads. For the fifth year, we're delighted to support the government's successful campaign to reduce the number of child casualties. We are also encouraging children who received reflectors in the last four years to use them again this winter. As a building society, Nationwide has a long tradition of active involvement in communities throughout the UK and there can be no better way of investing in these communities than by protecting the lives of children."

Ends

NOTES TO EDITORS

In October 2001, over 6 million reflectors were delivered to primary school children through Nationwide's Cats' Eyes Scheme. This year, like the last three years, reflectors and teaching resource packs will be distributed throughout the UK to Year One children at primary schools. Reflectors will not be available through Nationwide branches, but directly distributed to eligible pupils through individual primary schools.

Working in conjunction with Swindon Borough Council and the DFT, the pilot project was launched in Swindon in October 2000 when 20,000 primary school children received a pedestrian reflector. Each of their teachers received a pack of Key Stage 1/2 worksheets for classroom use in promoting road safety and visibility issues.

A child pedestrian is visible at 30 metres with low beam headlights (ca. 1.2 seconds reaction time at 50mph). A child pedestrian wearing a reflector is visible at 150 metres with low beam headlights (ca. 7 seconds reaction time at 50mph). Pedestrian reflectors have been used successfully in Scandinavian/Nordic countries for more than 30 years . According to research, children there are eight times safer (source: Central Organisation for Traffic Safety in Finland) with a reflector than without.

In 2002, Nationwide Building Society was awarded the prestigious Prince Michael International Road Safety Award in recognition of its outstanding commitment, and contribution, to road safety.

Road Casualties Great Britain 2004 - figures are published annually and information can be found at -
http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_transstats/documents/page/dft_transstats_031405.hcsp

Nationwide also has an award winning Internet site: www.nationwide.co.uk . For studio quality interviews Nationwide is equipped with an ISDN system using G722 and APTX codes for both BBC and IR links: ISDN Number: 01793 845014

Contact Information

  • Nationwide
    Steve Cowdry
    media relations manager
    01793 657112 / 07850 810746
    or
    Nationwide Press Office
    Press Team
    Tel: 01793 655198
    Fax: 01793 655045 (FAX)
    www.nationwide.co.uk/mediacentre