BY ROYAL SOCIETY OF ST. GEORGE
Recruiting the " Life Guards"
Educating children to be "traffic-minded" is one of the surest methods of decreasing the number of road fatalities and accidents.
If children are taught to be careful early lessons will inspire habitual care and attention. They must be observed not only by children but also by adults, and indeed all persons using the high road.
Experts on road safety have repeated these views again and again. Children must he taught when young how ,to " behave" on the roads.
At present they are not taught. They run across the traffic-congested highways, roller-skate and jump off the back of lorries regardless of the danger they are running and causing to others, and although the police are directed to keep an eye on the children they cannot be responsible for their antics all along the roads.
For this reason the Royal Society of St. George has developed a new system by which children themselves shall be made responsible for their safety.
Security Lies with the Child Itself
In many schools teachers are instructed to watch over the children as they cross the highroad when arriving or leaving school. But accidents still happen and will continue to happen until children instinctively obey the rules laid down for their protection.
The scheme, therefore, suggested by the Royal Society of St. George is to issue to all schools throughout the kingdom armlets of a suitable and attractive design, to be worn by scholars selected as "guards" against traffic dangers.
The armlet supplied is of crimson cloth edged with gold braid, and carries the inscription: "The Royal Society of St. George Life Guards." In the centre is the gilt badge of St. George and the Dragon.
It is obvious that the provision of an armlet of an attractive design ensures the enthusiastic support of the children in desiring the honour of wearing it.
The armlets arc being placed at the dis posal of headmasters and headmistresses throughout the country and the scheme has already been widely taken up. It is meeting, too, with the approval of the Ministry of Transport, though the government will not decide whether it should be adopted as a national scheme until the publication of the Report of the Committee on Road Safety Among Children early next month.
"Road safety MUM he made instinctive even in the smallest child," was the statement made by Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Jarrott, general secretary of the society and founder of the movement, in an interview with the Catholic Herald.
"Life Guards would be released from their school duties five minutes before the end of school hours. They would take their places at the school exits and carry the right to control. direct and warn scholars leaving the school against danger from passing traffic. They would remain on duty for fifteen minutes after breakingup time, and their duties would finish there."
A New Movement
" The armlet," he added, " would only be worn while on duty, and there would be no question of the Life Guards attempting to control traffic, or going into the roadway to carry out their duties. Their position would be at the school gateway from which a view of oncoming traffic could be obtained."
Colonel Jarrott believes in making the highway code art essential part of each child's education. " Armlets," he said, " should be competed for by answers to simple questions on the Highway Code. To win the armlet and join the life-guards would be. an honour for the children, but from answering the questions the smallest child would learn what to do instinctively when crossing the road."
Colonel Jarrott was himself a distinguished racing motorist. He Was racing as far back as 1896, and has broken world speed records at Brooklands. He was also one of the founders of Olympia motor show and the Automobile Association.