Ruben takes fun lessons with serious message to the Coromandel 04 July 2018 Ruben the Road Safety Bear is feeling chipper ahead of his road trip over the next couple of weeks to the Coromandel where he’ll be giving lessons to hundreds of pre-schoolers and primary school children. The popular bear is the mascot for the Waikato Regional Council’s young road user safety programme and works with road safety coordinators throughout the region including our own Coromandel representative, Ingrid Le Fevre. Ruben will visit 23 schools, pre-schools, kohanga reo and kura kaupapa (he’s also known as Rūpene te Pea Haumaru Huarahi) with a presenter, teaching children basic road safety rules as part of Waikato Regional Council’s young road user safety programme. “He has a pedestrian crossing and pretend lights, and the kids get to hold hands with Ruben and practise crossing the road. They just love it when he comes to visit,” says Ms Le Fevre. Ruben has been using his fun interactive lessons to spread his serious road safety messages across the Waikato since 1997. Ms Le Fevre encourages parents to actively support road safety messages by role modelling safe road behaviour. “What children see they do, so being a good role model is an important part of teaching children good road safety practices,” she says. Ruben’s website www.ruben.govt.nz features his key safety messages, activities for children, as well as helpful links and information for teachers, parents and caregivers. To be in to win a Ruben backpack (pictured above) like us on Facebook and comment on our Ruben post. For more information about road safety in the Coromandel visit our website, www.tcdc.govt.nz/roadsafety. Ruben’s five key messages are: Seat yourself right, buckle in tight: Buckle into a correctly sized car seat on every trip in a vehicle. Stop, look, listen and link: Before crossing the road stop back from the curb, look and listen for vehicles and bikes, link hands with a safe person and walk quickly across the road, still looking as you go. Look out for sneaky driveways: When you are walking on the footpath, remember to ‘stop, look, listen and link’ at each driveway just like when you are crossing the road. Helmet on right and tight: Wear a correctly fitting helmet every time you ride your bike or scooter. Be bright, dress bright: When out and about, wear bright clothing and backpacks so other road users can easily see you.