A mum’s campaign to keep children safe by urging them to be more visible during dark winter mornings has won the backing of one of the largest motoring organisations in the country.
The RAC has donated 200 safety kits, each worth £15, and including bike reflectors, fluorescent slap band, school kit bag, jacket and bright shoe laces to Mel Finnemore’s Be Safe Be Seen campaign.
The company will also be sending along what is, probably, the world’s biggest high-visibility jacket to drum home the safety message to children.
Mel, a retained firefighter whose two children Zac, four and Eva, nine are both at primary school, is calling on the Government to make high visibility jackets or back packs compulsory for pupils walking to school in winter.
The campaign will kick off on Monday with a march by more than 300 pupils from Uppingham CE Primary, Leighfield Primary as well as Stepping Stones, Upstarts and Little Angels nurseries.
Among those marching will be dozens of mounted police, firefighters, builders, security men and gym staff who all have to wear visibility jackets for work, as well as mayor of Uppingham David Ainslie.
The RAC’s safety mascot Horace will lead the march, after an assembly, from Uppingham CE Primary School to Todds’ Piece.
Mel said: “Since the newspaper ran the story, I have been approached by more schools that want me to get the message across to their pupils as well.
“Kettering-based Bugtopia will also be sending a real life fox and raccoon wearing high visibility clothing to the march. In the wild these animals get hit by cars so they will be showing their colours.
“Keeping kids safe is a cause that is close to everyone’s heart.”
Mel added that five children are hit by a car every day during winter months nationally, and the campaign is aimed at stopping children in Rutland falling victim by making sure they are visible to motorists during dark mornings.
A spokesman for the RAC said: “We are committed to supporting any initiative to improve road safety, so children can grow up safe and as responsible future drivers.
“This is a fantastic campaign and nicely timed as the clocks go back.”
Anyone is welcome to join the march which starts at 10am from the school, as long as they are wearing high visibility clothing and Mel encouraged as many people as possible to show their support.