A loveable family of cartoon characters is all set to improve road safety awareness among children thanks to a major initiative from Birmingham-based DriveSafe & StaySafe.
The social enterprise has teamed up with rock legend and philanthropist Rick Wakeman and leading speakers on road safety to launch ‘The Conies’ as a new multimedia initiative for primary schools at Hampton Manor in Hampton-in-Arden, Solihull on Thursday, October 1, the same day that smoking in a private vehicle carrying someone under 18 becomes illegal.
Keynote speeches will be made by Shadow Transport Minister Richard Burden and West Midlands Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Yvonne Mosquito, and Rick Wakeman will go on to judge the finals of DriveSafe’s road safety song writing competition for Midland schools.
The Conies has been created by Birmingham production company Goodmedia Ltd, with the support of the European Regional Development Fund, as a video series featuring a family of traffic cones who deliver road and personal safety messages through their comic adventures. The series is supported by interactive games, teaching packs and other e-learning resources.
Fay Goodman, Founder of DriveSafe & StaySafe, says the driving force behind the cartoon series has been the first rise in the annual figure for child deaths and serious injuries in 20 years for the year ending September 2014: “The reversal in declining child road casualties has been down to increasing cuts in visible policing and road safety spending,” she said.
“The Conies will fill the gap left by the Green Cross Code Man campaign, which is estimated to have saved as many as 250,000 children from being injured or killed on our roads. The cartoon family live in a zany cone-shaped world where traffic signs come to life during their antics and adventures, making safety awareness learning for children stimulating and fun,” Fay added.
DriveSafe & StaySafe has championed personal safety for many years with organisations ranging from the NHS to the Institute of Directors and from small businesses to women’s and victim support groups. The not-for-profit organisation published a driver’s handbook, ‘DriveSafe – An Essential Guide for Motorists, in association with Aston University in 2012.
Fay Goodman was highly commended for her DriveSafe & StaySafe Courtesy on the Road campaign at the IOD Awards in 2014.
Editors wishing to send a reporter or photographer to the launch of The Conies should contact Simon Hale at SHPR by email at [email protected] (Tel: 07970 802494)
Fay Goodman, Founder of DriveSafe & StaySafe