Schoolboy has a vital message for all children

Surely, holding a door open for a member of either sex is just good manners?

LESLEY KEATING: Would you dare hold a door open for a woman?

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In the terrifying moments after his accident, little Sydul Islam can scarcely have imagined that the dreadful start to his school day would lead to him playing a leading role in a campaign to help save young lives.

But thankfully, just a few months after he was trapped under a car outside Stamshaw Junior School in Portsmouth, the eight-year-old has made a full recovery.

And, to his credit, he is determined to use his own frightening experience to help keep other children safe.

Sydul was lucky. Hit by a car as he stepped off the kerb outside the school, he was quickly freed from under the vehicle by local tyre shop owner Jason Clark.

Now the youngster is naturally even more cautious about crossing the road.

He knows the Green Cross Code by heart and, to help other children do the same, has volunteered to play a key part in THINK! Tales Of The Road – a new safety campaign by Portsmouth City Council’s road safety team.

‘It’s great that we will get to learn about road safety. I think roads could be safer, and it’s important to know how to cross properly’ says Sydul, who features in adverts showing on TV and in cinemas.

For a lad of just eight years old, Sydul has shown remarkable fortitude as well as a lot of care for other youngsters and he is to be commended for that.

There can be little doubt that children are more likely to listen to the words of one of their peers when it comes to spreading such important advice.

And we hope too that adults will be just as willing to listen to the message.

Of course, children should learn to wear bright clothing at night, to look out properly before crossing the road and to never take chances.

But equally, drivers must constantly be aware of vulnerable youngsters. They should keep to the speed limit at all times and always presume the worst whenever children are in sight.

Better to slow down just in case than be forced to brake in an emergency. Think! It’s a word that applies to all of us, not just children.