02/08/2018 – In one month, students and pupils will return to their classes and most of the time, they do this by car (52%), on foot (39%) or by bike (29%). But for almost 1 out of 2 children, visibility is not important. They especially want to look cool and fluorescent jackets or reflective strips do not fit with that view*. 1 out of 3 children is even afraid to be bullied when wearing it. Especially children who go to high school are not that enthusiastic about fluorescent jackets and reflective strips. The new Kipling ‘Be Seen’ collection of satchels brand Kipling gives an answer and makes sure that children and youths can be cool and visible at the same time on their way to school.
8 out of 10 children rarely or never wear clothes with reflective strips or fluorescent bracelets that enlarge their visibility in traffic. 6 out of 10 almost never wears a fluorescent jacket. The main reason? The low-coolness factor (60%) of these accessories. When they are in traffic, more than 50% of the children, particularly, want to look cool, even if it goes at the expense of their visibility. For them, ‘being cool’ does not fit with safety accessories: 7 out of 10 children finds fluorescent jackets, reflective stripes on clothes or fluorescent bracelets not cool. 44% are embarrassed when wearing a fluorescent jacket to school.
Apparently, the problem is the biggest with teenagers: 69% rather wants to be cool than visible in traffic (versus 38% of pupils in primary school). Furthermore, they find reflective accessories, in general, less cool than children under 12 years do and wear them even less. Parents confirm that the start of high school is a tilting moment. According to more than 1 out of 2 parents, at that moment their child refuses to wear fluorescent jackets and other safety accessories.
Parents try, but pass the responsibility
66% of the parents want their children to be visible in traffic, rather than look cool. That is why 4 out of 10 require their children to wear a fluorescent jacket and 1 out of 3 do not let their children go to school without reflective accessories. But this approach is not very successful. 1 out of 3 children secretly take of his/her fluorescent jacket. 1 out of 5 parents is aware of that. Furthermore, 50% of the parents talk with their children about the importance of visibility, but at 37% it leads to serious discussions with their children. Furthermore, parents are not a good example themselves. 8 out of 10 mothers and fathers rarely or never wear a fluorescent jacket or reflective strips on their clothes or bag when they cycle or go for a walk. More than 50% of the parents nevertheless wants to be a good example.
“Sensitization about visibility on the way to school, particularly, has an impact on children of primary schools. But as off high school, students drop out, so more is needed. I can only encourage product innovations like the new Kipling satchels collection, because they answer the question for teenagers to look cool, but also enlarge their visibility and so their safety significant on their way to school”, explains Prof. Tom Brijs of Hasselt University.
Parents expect that the school, but also the media take their responsibility. 1 out of 2 of the parents find that the school needs to learn their child how to behave in traffic. According to 60% of the parents, media can also play an important role. 1 out of 3 find that wearing these safety accessories is not promoted enough via television programs. 3 out of 4 finds that also famous people, like known sportsmen and women, need to promote safety and visibility more.
“As a leading satchels brand, we are committed to the visibility of children and teenagers on their way to school. With the new Kipling BE SEEN collection, we therefore combine the coolness with the visibility. The satchels of this collection are made of reflective nylon and cool prints and colours. The coolest and the most visible satchel is the one with additionally extra built-in ‘lights’. These make sure that children and teenagers are better visible in traffic”, says Jurgen Derycke, Marketing Director of Kipling.
*This was shown by an online questionnaire by independent research company iVOX of 1000 Belgian parents of children between the ages of 8 and 16, and 674 children between 8 and 16 years old. The sample is representative of gender, region, age and degree. The maximal error margin on 1000 Belgian parents is 3,02%.