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School Junior Warden patrols have an important role to play in road safety.

Back to school road safety warning

New research from the Road Safety Authority (RSA) has revealed that one child (0-14 years old) was killed and 10 children were seriously injured on Clare roads in the period 2006 to 2012.

The report was published as the RSA and Electric Ireland teamed up for the fifth year running to distribute 85,500 high visibility vests to every child starting school this year. The vests will be included in the RSA’s ‘Back to School’ road safety packs, which will be sent to primary schools nationwide over the coming months.

The RSA and Electric Ireland are urging parents, guardians and teachers to make road safety a priority, as 13 children under the age of 14 have died in the first eight months of the year on Irish roads.

In 2013, six children lost their lives, meaning the number of child casualties so far this year has already exceeded the total number of child deaths in 2013. Six of the children who died on our roads this year were pedestrians, six were car passengers and one was a quad bike user.

The report on child casualties between 1997-2012 also found that of the child passenger fatalities in this period, 1 in 3 was not wearing a seatbelt or a child restraint.

The report also showed that the peak time for children to be killed on the road is between
4pm and 5.59pm when 27% of children lost their lives, and during thesummer months April to August when half (51%) of children were killed.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe encouraged parents and teachers to renew their commitment to educating our youngest road-users about road safety.

“The increase in child casualties on our roads this year is incredibly worrying, after many years of seeing year-on-year decreases. Attitudes to road safety are formed at a young age and we would urge parents and teachers to continue to prioritise teaching our youngest and most vulnerable road-users how to stay safe on the roads. As parents and educators, we have a responsibility to teach our children how to be safe when walking, cycling, getting the bus or being driven to school,” Minister O’Donohoe said.

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