Be safe crossing the road

Twelve-year-old Teodora Ifrim explains how to be safe when crossing Waltham Forest’s roads

Teodora Ifrim

Youth travel ambassador Teodora Ifrim encourages people to listen for traffic before they cross the road

I am one of the youth travel ambassador students from Connaught School For Girls in Leytonstone. So, why is road safety important?

It is important because it can harm anyone. For example, secondary students who are not paying attention. I have carried out a survey asking 30 people: Would you let your child walk to school by themselves? Many parents said ‘it depends’ and some of them simply said ‘no’.

If a child goes to school by themselves and they do not look out for cars they can lose their life. I walk to school by myself sometimes and I always see children laughing and listening to music while they cross the street. It doesn’t hurt your hands if you only take one headphone out when crossing the street – it can save a life!

If you are a parent, make sure to tell your children about road safety and they won’t make that mistake. If you are a child, you should learn more from this article and those accidents that happen every day won’t happen to you.

Many children think that nothing will happen to them because they know how to cross the street, but if you think about it, you don’t know if it’s actually going to happen or not. The last few decades have demonstrated that effective and comprehensive road safety strategies can reduce the number of people killed or injured on the road, despite increasing traffic levels.

The next thing I am going to tell you about is peer pressure and what you should do to deal with it. Peer pressure means social pressure by members of one’s peer group to take a certain action, adopt certain values, or otherwise conform in order to be accepted. To give you an example; five secondary boys were walking home from school and they decided to play chicken. One boy didn’t want to play but the other boys told him to do it because everyone else was doing it and they were all ‘cool’. The boy accepted the challenge and went on the road. Now, the thing that he didn’t see was the car coming. That was his last moment.

If you do not want to do anything and you feel that other children are putting peer pressure on you, speak out! Don’t feel scared that you are going to lose your friends, it is for your safety. Do you think friends are more important than your life? I do not think so because friends come and leave your life every day.

Did you know that traffic is the biggest single cause of accidental death for 12-16-year-olds in the UK? Girls are more likely to be killed or hurt on the roads than boys.

These are just a few facts but now I am going to give you examples of some accidents and what caused them: A child was injured after dashing into the road while playing football with friends; a teenager was hurt after being struck as he was crossing the road, his MP3 player was still playing as he was lifted into the ambulance; an 18-year-old pedestrian was killed by a suspected drink-driver just 20 minutes after her parents said they could not collect her from a party because they had both had a couple of glasses of wine; a five-year-old boy died when he fell out of a Land Rover and was hit by the trailer it was towing.

Thank you for reading my article and I hope that you learned more about road safety. Remember: Stop, think, live.


Youth Travel Ambassadors is one of Transport for London’s largest behaviour change projects, working with more than 1,000 students at more than 130 secondary schools across the capital. To find out more:

Visit tfl.gov.uk/info-for/schools-and-young-people/teaching-resources/youth-travel-ambassadors