“Holiday Time - Slow Down, Kids Around”

Published on 17 December 2020

Photo of Cessnock City Mayor, Councillor Bob Pynsent and Council’s Road Safety Officer Alison Shelton at Bridges Hill Park Playground holding up a campaign sign.

Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation and Cessnock City Council have joined forces again to reduce child pedestrian injuries and fatalities across the Cessnock Local Government Area (LGA).

Motorists will again notice the “Holiday Time; Slow Down, Kids Around” signage erected around the LGA at parks and other busy recreational locations, urging people to slow down and take extra care on our roads during the holiday period.

Cessnock City Mayor, Councillor Bob Pynsent said school holiday periods created a surge in the number of children using local roads and paths.

“Holiday Time; Slow Down, Kids Around is a highly visible and timely reminder about the importance of road safety, for both residents and visitors to be more aware of the increase in pedestrian activity in our area,” Mayor Pynsent said.

“With more kids around, particularly in our playgrounds and parks, it’s really important for all motorists to stay vigilant on the road. Kids can react impulsively and forget about road safety.”

“That is why the Holiday Time campaign is so important. It puts the onus on drivers, parents and carers to recognise the potential danger in busy holiday spots and take extra precautions.”

The Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation was established by Michelle and David McLaughlin in memory of their four-year-old son Tom, who tragically passed away in a pedestrian road accident while on a Central Coast family vacation in 2014.  Michelle and David McLaughlin, now channel their energy into making school holidays safer for children around the country.

“Tragically, BITRE data reveals that since January 2014 till August 2020, 391 children, including Tom McLaughlin, have lost their lives to road trauma.  Further, The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare indicates that the most common cause of death of children aged 1-14 years is road trauma.” Michelle stated.

“Holiday destinations will be even busier this year due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. For children and their families, these new environments are most often new and unfamiliar with key visual roadway differences, including lack of kerbs/guttering, no line markings or footpaths.”

"We lost our precious son, Tom in the blink of an eye. We don’t want this to happen to anyone else. The cost is just too high. That’s why the 'Holiday Time, Slow Down Kids Around' message is so important," Michelle said.

Michelle said Little Blue Dinosaur was excited to be working with Cessnock City Council again. The campaign is now supported by 65 councils across Australia. Little Blue Dinosaur is also pleased to announce that Michelle has written a beautiful book around Child Pedestrian Road Safety called “Tom’s Holiday.” 

The colourful book has been especially written and designed for both children, parents and their carers to provide detailed lifesaving road safety tips and education particularly around busy holiday periods. For more information about the Hold My Hand Campaign or “Tom’s Holiday,” please visit the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation

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