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Slow down, kids around

Eurobodalla Council has again partnered with The Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation for its Holiday Time campaign, which aims to help make children safer around beaches and roadways these school holidays.

Council last year installed signs at busy Batemans Bay holiday hot-spots reminding visitors and locals to hold a child’s hand when walking on or near a road and for drivers to be extra vigilant these holidays.

In addition to the signs already in car parks at Batemans Bay’s Village Centre and Bridge Plaza, further ‘Hold my Hand’ signs will be installed at car parks on Shore Street, Moruya, Moruya Woolworths and Dalmeny and Mystery Bay campgrounds.

The Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation was established in memory of four-year-old Tom McLaughlin, who tragically passed away in a pedestrian road accident while on a Central Coast family vacation in 2014.

Foundation founder and CEO Michelle McLaughlin said she was delighted Eurobodalla Council was expanding its signage this year.

“We now have 29 councils in four states of Australia working with us to spread our child pedestrian safety messages,” she said.

“Busy holiday places such as these – with roads, shops, parks and beaches all close together – are exactly the kinds of places our message is most needed. Children on holiday are very excited and road safety is more often far from their minds.

“Experts have told us that, because children are small, and their brains aren’t fully developed, they can’t make safe choices around traffic. We must hold their hands right up until age 10, and supervise them closely until they are 12.”

In Australia in 2016, 1,295 lives were lost and tens of thousands injured because of road trauma, at a cost of $27 billion.

“Since we lost Tom, 70 more children have died when they were hit by cars, and thousands of others have been hospitalised,” Mrs McLaughlin said.

“The cost – emotional and financial – is just too high. That’s why the messages ‘Slow Down Kids Around’ and “Hold My Hand’ are so important.”

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