FIREFIGHTERS are using the power of storytelling to get road safety messages across to children.

The new Drago the Dragon book, produced by Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service, tells the story of two friends who are hurt running out into a road without looking.

It comes as the latest statistics show more than 100 children have been killed or seriously injured on the county’s roads since 2004.

Drago Learns About Road Safety was read by firefighters to youngsters at Edward Feild Primary School in Kidlington on Tuesday.

Pupils at the Bicester Road school were also given a talk about the importance of stopping, looking and listening before crossing a road, then each child was handed a copy of the book.

Previously Drago, a cartoon dragon, has learnt about the dangers of fire and the importance of smoke alarms.

Fire service home and community safety manager Stuart Garner said: “It is vitally important to start educating children from an early age about all aspects of staying safe from the hazards presented by fires and roads, and our Drago the Dragon book series does just that.

“We have had excellent feedback from parents and youngsters.

“Knowledge, skills and attitudes children learn during their early years tend to influence their future activities and decisions about how to remain as safe as possible.”

The new book will be available to borrow from county libraries.

Schools will also be given copies and and the book will be distributed at fire service events and talks.

The Oxford Times:

  • Fire service home and community safety manager Stuart Garner

The service is also urging parents to take their children to roadsides for practical training through its guide, Footsteps, free copies of which are available at schools and on the 365alive website.

Mick Clarke, the service’s road safety manager, added: “I would like to encourage parents when they are out walking with their child to ask questions about what they are seeing and hearing at the roadside.

“Your journey may take a little longer, but the roadside is the only place your child can learn to develop their skills.

“Ask your child to choose a good place to cross the road and ask why they have made that decision.

“If your child forgets or does something wrong, encourage them by giving them hints and ask them questions so they can work out what they should be doing.”

For more information, visit 365alive.co.uk