Parents Urged To Keep Their Cool In Cars

29 July 2015, 05:00

Parents are being urged to set a good example to their kids when behind the wheel.

Experts say aggressive or impatient driving can rub off on youngsters, who may go on to mimic the behaviour as motorists themselves.

The Kids in the Car campaign, backed by the Scottish Government and Road Safety Scotland, is reminding parents to pass on good habits.

A survey found 43% of drivers questioned admitted having shouted, sworn or been impatient on the roads, despite nagging their kids to "be nice'' and remember their manners.

Psychologist Bill Carcary, who is a retired police traffic sergeant, said: "Children are automatically programmed to mimic the actions of people who are important to them.

"Unfortunately young developing children do not have the skills to distinguish between good or bad driving habits and will reflect this behaviour in later life.

"Parents will wrongly assume their children somehow remain unaffected by such behaviours as gesturing, shouting or simply speeding. To create better drivers for tomorrow we need to look at how we drive today.''

The censuswide survey of 1,002 adults found 34% of parents wanted their children to "be patient or take their time'', yet 45% admitted driving above the speed limit or being impatient on the road.

The campaign is urging people to try to avoid losing their temper at the wheel, respect red lights and be courteous to other drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.

Transport Minister Derek Mackay said: "I am more aware of my driving when my boys are in the car. As parents we try to set them a good example in every aspect of life, why should this stop when we get behind the wheel?

"This campaign will help raise awareness amongst parents of their key role in shaping their children's future road use, behaviours and attitudes and I urge everyone who carries young people in their vehicle to get behind its ultimate aim of reducing risky behaviours among our drivers of tomorrow.''