ROAD safety officials are urging youngsters to stay safe during their summer holidays.
They are concerned that there is a higher risk of accidents in the six-week school holiday period as children are more likely to be playing outside more often and later than usual.
Hartlepool Borough Council officers say both parents and motorists can take steps to help reduce the risk.
Paul Watson, the council’s road safety officer, said: “Statistics show accidents increase during the months of July and August, particularly among young people.
“Most collisions tend to occur between 2pm and 5pm.
“During the long summer holidays children play outside for longer periods and they are more likely to be unaccompanied, increasing the risk of them becoming involved in a road accident.
“I would urge parents to make sure that their children understand the dangers of playing on or near roads.”
Youngsters learn about road safety at school but council bosses are keen to reinforce the message.
Mr Watson said: “Drivers can also help by learning to expect the unexpected.
“For example, a child may chase a ball into the road and drivers ought to be aware of the possibility, particularly in residential areas, and reduce their speeds accordingly.
“The council has a programme of road safety training for all children that takes place in schools across the town during term-time, but we are keen to ensure that safety is at the forefront of people’s minds while they are out and about during the summer holidays too.”