Children from Robert Le Kyng received road safety advice from Zac the Zebra and Dominic Threlfall, owner of Pebley Beach Garage on 6 February, and photographer Richard Wintle found a link to the Green Cross Code man’s visit to the town in 1985.
The West Swindon based Suzuki and Hyundai dealership has donated high-visibility jackets to evert children at the school, helping them to stay safe and be seen on dark winter days and arranged for Zac the Zebra – the mascot of national road safety charity Brake – to help deliver some important road safety advice to the children.
Robert Le Kyng kids with Zac and Dominic
There was also advice for parents from Pebley Beach on keeping their cars in tip-top condition to help them cope with dangerous winter driving conditions.
On Friday 14 February the children will be wearing bright clothes to school during a sponsored non-uniform day. Proceeds from the day will help Brake deliver its road safety message to other school children.
“Suzuki’s national campaign in which Pebley took part, donated £5 to Brake for every winter car check,” said Dominic Threlfall. “We wanted to go further to show our commitment to road safety and work with our nearest local school, which is why we’ve also given every child a visi vest and invited Zak to visit.”
Rich Andrew, spokesperson at Brake, said: "The money donated by Robert Le Kyng Primary School and Pebley Beach will be crucial in funding our work supporting people bereaved or injured by road crashes, and campaigning for safer roads in communities across the UK".
Dave Barnett, assistant head teacher at Robert Le Kyng Primary School, said: "We were delighted to run a Bright Day for Brake to support a worthwhile charity. We also saw it as a great opportunity to tell our children about our school’s particular issues – the importance of using the lollypop man, being careful when using mobile phones on the road, and not walking through the school car park
“We’d like to thank Pebley Beach for the visi-vests which will be invaluable in helping our pupils be seen on the roads.”
Interestingly in 1985, Dave Barnett was a pupil at Gorse Hill Primary School when the Green Cross Code man visited Swindon to talk about road safety. Freelance photographer Richard Wintle of Calyx, who took the pictures here, dug into his archives and found the image he took at Penhill Junior School.
Are you one of the Penhill children pictured by Richard Wintle? Mail Swindon Link if you are.
Find out more about Brake
Pebley Beach services and maintains thousands of vehicles in the Swindon area
Road Safety tips for children
• NEVER TRUST TRAFFIC. Watch what drivers are doing. They may not see you.
• Seven years old or younger? Hold hands when you walk along the road.
• Are you eight or older? Make sure your mum, dad or carer know where you are walking.
• STOP. THINK. LOOK. LISTEN. If it is safe, you can cross the road.
• Cross at crossings. Cross at a place you can see the traffic. Don’t cross between parked cars.
• Just because your friends cross the road, does not mean it’s safe. Check for yourself.
• And wear your Pebley Beach visi vest.
Car safety tips from Pebley Beach
• TYRES – if they are not the right tyre for your car, correctly inflated or have at least 3mm depth of tread you will have trouble keeping control of your car when you brake or turn corners (it also costs more in fuel).
• BRAKES – low brakes might stop your car in normal driving, but in an emergency – like a child running out in front of you – they won’t stop quickly enough. And if you let your brakes run too low, you will have to replace pads and discs – which is double the price of just replacing pads.
• LIGHTS AND INDICATORS – not only do they allow you to see at night and in low light they help children who are walking (and other drivers) see you, and know what you will do. And broken bulbs and mis-aligned headlights are usually cheap and quick to replace or fix. Check them every day.
• CLEAN LIGHTS and INSIDE WINDOWS – dirty inside windscreens can cause glare and distract you. Dirty lights can be as bad as broken lights.
• BATTERY – the most common cause of winter breakdowns. If it’s older than five years, it may fail – probably when you need your car the most.
• WINDSCREEN – replace worn wipers and keep topped up with screen wash. Being able to see is one of the most important things you can do. Never drive with an ice or snow covered windscreen, no matter how late you are.
• ANTIFREEZE – without the right amount of coolant, your car will break down.
• Better safe than sorry – get a winter car check at Pebley Beach.