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Published: 2014-02-24 00:00:00

A special guest appearance will delight children attending the Children’s Day event this Saturday, as they will be able to rock with Ruben the Road Safety Bear while learning key road safety tips.

The Children’s Day Carnival is part of the Summer In Garden Place programme, and is hosted by the Hamilton Families and Children’s Trust.

Ruben is the popular mascot for Waikato Regional Council’s young road user safety programme and teaches children aged up to about seven years old how to be safe on and around our roads.

The programme, supported by NZ Police and the NZ Transport Agency, saw Ruben deliver 293 road safety lessons to 16,511 children throughout the Waikato in 2012/13.

The regional council’s transport projects administrator Jenny Davis said Ruben and a presenter teach children basic road safety rules and raise their awareness of safety on the roads and their surroundings.

“Ruben is looking forward to being part of this year’s Children’s Day festivities and he hopes to have lots of children join him to perform the ‘Ruben rock’, a popular performance which promotes his key safety messages,” she said.

There’ll be three opportunities for children to join Ruben:

  • 10.35am on stage in Garden Place
  • 10.50am at the Honu and Peka Trail table in Garden Place
  • 11.30am at the Honu and Peka Trail table at the nearby Waikato Museum.

 The messages Ruben covers in his performances are:

  • Be bright, dress bright: When out and about, wear bright clothing so other road users can easily see you. 
  • 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.

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.