The Green Cross Code

The Green Cross Code was created to raise awareness of pedestrian road safety in the United Kingdom. Even though the Green Cross Code is taught in schools it needs to be reinforced at home by parents/guardians practicing and explaining the code to children. In 2015, 39% of child road casualties were pedestrians that is 6,280. Help stop your child being one of those who gets injured by following the advice below.

How You Can Help Your Child and Other Children

  • Set a good example by using the Green Cross Code yourself.
  • Keep showing your child how to use the Code to cross the road when you are out and about.
  • Let your child demonstrate to you that they know how to cross the road safely, practise on quiet roads first.
  • When out with your child point out both safe and dangerous places to cross. Some places may be safer at some times of the day than at others.
  • Use pedestrian crossings even if it involves a small detour.
  • Talk about the importance of not using a mobile phone or texting while crossing the road.
  • Remind your child that they cannot hear traffic if listening to music through earphones or see it properly if wearing a large hood.

Children can be safer on the streets if we show them how.

The Green Cross Code

1. THINK! First find the safest place to cross

  • Where you can use: subways, footbridges, islands, zebra, puffin, pelican or toucan crossings, or where there is a crossing point controlled by a police officer, a school crossing patrol, lollipop person or a traffic warden.
  • If you can’t see a crossing cross where you can see in all directions and where drivers and riders can see you clearly.
  • Never cross between parked cars, on blind bends or close to the brow of a hill.

2. STOP! Stand on the pavement near the kerb

  • Just before you get to the kerb, stop.
  • Stand on the pavement near the kerb and make sure that you can see the traffic. DO NOT step on to the road.
  • If there is no pavement, keep back from the edge of the road but make sure you can still see approaching traffic.
  • Give yourself lots of time to have a good look all around.

3. USE YOUR EYES AND EARS! Look all around for traffic and listen

  • Look all around for traffic and listen. Make sure that you listen carefully for traffic that you can’t see.
  • Look in every direction. Check to your right hand side first, then check to your left and then to your right again before you cross.
  • Watch out for bicycles or people on rollerblades. You often don’t hear them but they travel very fast.
  • Beware that one way streets, have all of the traffic moving in the same direction.

4. WAIT UNTIL IT IS SAFE TO CROSS! If traffic is coming, let it pass

  • If traffic is coming, let it pass.
  • Once the traffic has passed look around again and listen.
  • Look all around again and listen.
  • If you are waiting at a crossing then wait until the cars have stopped or, at pelican, toucan, puffin or pegasus crossings, the green man shows, before you cross.
  • If you are not at a crossing wait until it is safe to cross.
  • Do not cross until there is a safe gap in the traffic and you are certain that there is plenty of time.
  • Remember, even if traffic is a long way off, it may be approaching very quickly.

5. LOOK AND LISTEN! When it is safe, go straight across the road – do not run

  • Keep looking and listening for traffic while you cross, in case there is any traffic you did not see, or in case other traffic appears suddenly.
  • Look out for cyclists and motorcyclists traveling between lanes of traffic.
  • Do not cross diagonally.
  • NEVER run across the road because you might fall over and you might not get up in time.

6. ARRIVE ALIVE! Keep looking and listening

  • Look and keep looking while you cross the road.

Crossing between parked cars

Try not to cross between parked vehicles, but if there is nowhere else to cross:

  • Choose a place where there is a space between two cars and make sure that it is easy to get to the pavement on the other side of the road.
  • Make sure neither car is about to move off – look for drivers in the cars, lights and listen for engines.
  • Do not cross near large vehicles. You could be standing in a blind spot, where the driver cannot see you.
  • Walk to the outside edge of the cars and stop. Here you can be seen by drivers and you can look all around for traffic.
  • Use the Green Cross Code. When the road is clear, cross, still looking and listening as you go.

If you would like help in teaching your child road safety see the Tales of the Road website or the THINK! road safety videos

For those of you who prefer something a little less ‘scary’ for your children see the old style road safety adverts with the singing hedgehogs

Subscribe for our latest offers and updates