Loose Women: Konnie Huq discusses relationship with her kids
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Konnie Huq, 47, opened up about the fear she and her husband Charlie Brooker, 51, have often felt about their son making his way to school in an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk. The former Blue Peter presenter and children’s author, who is currently promoting the Green Car Cross Code, discussed how important it is to teach children about road safety in a way that recognises the dangers posed by the ever-growing presence of electric cars.
Konnie explained how, now that we are “in a world where children are on screens and devices more than ever” it is more likely that their parents will give them phones earlier, meaning they are allowed to walk home alone.
“Usually in most schools, if you’re about nine years old, you’re allowed to walk home on your own if you live close to the school,” Konnie said.
“I’ve got a son who’s 10 and a son who’s eight, so I’m at that pivotal stage,” she added in reference to the kids she shares with Black Mirror writer Charlie.
“We live quite far from our local primary school. It’s like a 25 to 30-minute walk. But during lockdown, they got really proficient on bikes.
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“We started biking and it really made me aware of how they are with road safety and how much they take it or not,” Konnie continued.
“So I’ve really been trying to get them to be proficient and observant and, you know, you bring your kids up the same but they turn out so differently.
“And my youngest one – he’s really quite savvy and where my other one is in cloud cuckoo land half the time,” the mother-of-two added fondly.
“And I’m always having to tell him, ‘Look! There’s a car coming. Stop, you know, stop, wait, you know, stop at the curb,’ or whatever…”
“So he’ll be going off to secondary school – and they often go to and from school on their own at secondary school.
“His good friend has just moved quite close to us. And so they did some school runs, you know, on their own, but I’m not that confident.”
Konnie then went on to share a hilarious anecdote about the time Charlie decided to follow his son home for fear he might fall into trouble.
“My husband followed them once on a bike spying on them,” she laughed.
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“And I have to collect my other son from school anyway, so I’ve been known to spy on them as well walking to and from school.”
The Green Car Cross Code has been launched in UK schools to encourage better road safety, as two-thirds of parents admit their children aren’t ‘EV aware’
Research shows that more than a quarter of children (27 percent) don’t know electric vehicles are quieter, and 30 percent didn’t realise they can accelerate faster than traditionally fuelled vehicles.
Meanwhile, last year saw the biggest annual increase in the number of electric cars registered in the UK, with more than 395,000 battery-electric cars registered – a growth of 92 percent on 2020.
Speaking about the new Green Car Cross Code, Konny explained: “It’s just getting kids to be aware of the added sort of increased danger and gearing them up for an easy society.”
“We’re accelerating towards having a zero-emission car future and hopefully, you know, petrol vehicles will be phased out.
“But that also has implications safety-wise, just because electric vehicles are much quieter.
“We do rely a lot – without even being aware – on hearing to cross the road. You know, you can tell if there’s cars coming towards you, and electric vehicles accelerate faster.
“So if you think a car is kind of far off, it can get to you quicker, and then again, there isn’t the noise of that acceleration.”
Konnie Huq is championing the Green Car Cross Code, an updated set of road safety guidelines for children developed by ZenAuto and supported by road safety charity Brake. The Green Car Cross Code aims to raise awareness of pedestrian road safety in the wake of the growing number of electric vehicles on Britain’s roads.
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