The Donegal Road Safety Working Group is reminding motorists, cyclists and children to take extra care on our roads around the county as schools return once again.
“We need to keep children and families safe on our roads by slowing down, obeying the speed limits in school areas, and exercising extreme care when overtaking a stationary school bus,” said Brian O’Donnell the road officer with Donegal County Council.
He added that road safety around schools and school buses is everyone’s responsibility adding that caution must be exercised in all areas.
“The first week of school is always a very busy time on our roads and I encourage all road users to be mindful that children will again be back making this daily journey. We also need to be mindful that there will be large numbers of little children attending school for the first time. Let's ensure this is a positive experience for them by slowing down and taking extra care whenever you are travelling near or past a school”.
He added that students of all ages need to exercise vigilance and to be aware of road safety rather than talking to friends, wearing headphones or testing on phones.
“Nothing excuses or justifies putting the lives of children in danger or the safety of other road users, especially if they are negotiating their journey at a pace that suits, and is safe for them,” he said.
He added that parents and teachers can help prepare children for the journey to and from school.
“Parents and teachers can also help prepare children for the journey to and from school by discussing the importance of being safe on the roads. Parents and guardians are being asked to make a real effort to demonstrate good road safety behaviour at all times as your child learns from your example. So if your child walks or cycles to school, you are advised to take them on the route in advance and make sure they know where they are going. If they travel by car or bus, make sure they know how important it is to keep their seatbelt on at all times and remain seated until the vehicle is parked safely at their drop off point.”
He appealed to schools and teachers to make road safety a priority by integrating the issue into their lessons.
“We would once again ask schools and teachers to help make road safety a priority this year by making road safety a key part of their lesson plans and consider including a road safety lesson from the RSA's road safety resources in their classes. A number of resources are available for primary and secondary schools and copies of the resources can be obtained by contacting Donegal County Council's Road Safety Officer or the Road Safety Authority directly”.