- Roads, Vehicles & Traffic
Introducing ‘Stop, Look, Listen, Think’ to cross the road safely
- Health & Physical Education
- Year 1
- Year 2
Have the class walk in single file around the outside of a basketball court or similar sized area, keeping about half a metre from the person in front. On command from you they are to stop. Note that the command could be either a spoken word, the display of a stop sign or any other pre-determined cue.
Increase the pace to a jog, and again on command they are to stop. Have the class run fast in single file. Command them to stop.
Discuss how it is easier to stop when going slow. You could also ask students about their experiences with riding a bike or scooter. Explain that it takes a long time for vehicles to come to a stop, especially when it is wet.
Ask students to think of the different types of road users and vehicles that a pedestrian needs to look out for.
In an open space, simulate a road environment. Have some students at the ‘roadside’ and others spread out in different directions and moving as ‘vehicles’.
Discuss the best technique for looking when crossing the road (turning head, looking in all directions, looking several times, looking for different types of vehicles).
Explain to the students that looking around in all directions is called scanning, and they need to scan all the time they are near or on the roads for any vehicles.
Talk about the words ‘listen’ and ‘hear’.
Ask the children to close their eyes. Play some traffic sounds - such as those recorded from a nearby street or through a streaming service such as YouTube or Spotify. Use a portable device and position it in different areas of the room. Ask students to identify the sounds they hear and which direction they come from.
The activity Developing listening skills for road safety will also help build skills in this area.
Discuss what pedestrians need to think about once they have stopped, looked and listened. Focus on safe places to cross, traffic awareness, and time needed to cross.
Print out a thought bubble for each student. Have each student write or draw one point they need to think about before crossing the road. Combine all the thought bubbles into a poster.
- Was it easier to stop when you were going fast or slow? Why? (e.g. when going slow they could hear the instructions more easily, had more control and had more time to stop)
- Imagine you were running near the road and you needed to come to a stop. What may happen if you couldn’t stop exactly where you needed to and in time?
- When walking, or moving slowly, you can stop in a very short distance. Is this the same for drivers of cars, trucks, trains and buses?
- Can you see everyone if you look straight ahead?
- What do you need to do to make sure you can see the whole road? (e.g. make sure you move your head and not just your eyes)
- What do pedestrians need to look for? (e.g. other road users such as: cars, trucks, bicycles, motorcycles, buses, other pedestrians)
- Where do pedestrians need to look? (e.g. all around)
- What could happen if you only looked once, or only in one direction?
- What sounds can you hear when you are outside? (e.g. traffic sounds, engines, bells, sirens, whistles, beeps, screeching, music, ticking pedestrian crossings)
- What do pedestrians need to listen for? (e.g. instructions or orders from older people, permission from crossing supervisors, vehicle sounds, whistles)
- What makes it difficult to listen for traffic sounds?
- Is it safe to cross?
- Can I get all that way in time?
- Is there somewhere to wait if I have to stop half way?
- Is the road clear in every direction?
- What does a clear road look like?
- Where else could traffic come from?
- Can the drivers and other people see me?
- Is there a better place for me to cross the road?
- Is anything coming towards me that I need to worry about?
- How far away are approaching vehicles?
- How fast can I walk?
Information for teachers
Stop, Look, Listen, Think (SLLT) procedure:
- Hold an adult’s hand (for younger children)
- Choose a safe place to cross – where you have a good clear view of traffic in all directions and where drivers can see you
- STOP one step back from the kerb or shoulder of the road if there is no footpath
- LOOK in all directions for approaching traffic
- LISTEN for traffic approaching from all directions
- THINK about whether it is safe to cross the road – when the road is clear or all traffic has stopped
- Walk straight across the road. Keep LOOKING and LISTENING for traffic while crossing