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RSA & ESB Networks put Road Safety on the "Back to School"

RSA & ESB Networks put Road Safety on the "Back to School" Checklist

Road safety is still a concern as four children die on our roads this year.

RSA and ESB Networks encourage parents and teachers to put road safety on the ‘Back to School’ checklist and make bus safety a priority

As the final preparations for a new school term begin in homes and schools around the country, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and ESB Networks are calling on parents, guardians and teachers to make sure road safety is top of the ‘back to school’ checklist.

The RSA and ESB Networks want parents and students to think about safety while at the bus stop and when on-board. The RSA are reminding parents to ensure their child is visible while at the bus stop, a particular concern as the shorter day’s approach, and encouraging children to always wear their seatbelt when travelling to and from school on the bus.

Four children aged 14 and under have died in the first eight months of the year on Irish roads. In the period between 2011 and 2015, 32 children aged 14 and under died as a result of a collision on our roads, of these 14 were pedestrians and a further 2 were pedal cyclists.  The RSA is reminding parents to ensure their child is visible when walking or cycling on the roads, or when waiting for the school bus.

For the sixth year running, the RSA and ESB Networks will distribute free high visibility vests to every child starting school in September. To date, this partnership has provided 700,000 children throughout the country with high visibility vests. Schools can now register online for the RSA’s ‘Back to School’ road safety packs which will be sent to primary schools nationwide over the coming months. 

Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority said:

“As parents and guardians, we have a responsibility to ensure our youngest and most vulnerable road-users are safe when travelling to and from school. One of the easiest ways to do this is to ensure they wear high visibility material when walking, cycling or getting the bus to school. This will help other road-users to see them and to slow down when they are nearby. Motorists should also be on the look-out for children making their journey to school and to modify their behaviour accordingly.”

“If your child gets the bus to school, please make sure they wear reflective clothing so they can be seen at the bus stop. Don’t leave them standing on the side of the road in the dark to wait for a bus. Make sure they know that when they’re on the bus, they should wear their seatbelt at all times and never stand while the bus is moving.”

Speaking at the launch of the Back to School campaign, Mr Gerry Mooney, Manager, Safety and Organisational Transformation at ESB Networks said:

“This is a very important initiative for ESB Networks and we are proud to team up with the RSA, again this year, to promote road safety awareness among our youngest road users, their schools and indeed their families. The nationwide campaign will include the distribution of 80,000 high visibility vests to all children starting school in September and focus attention on the importance of road safety.

“Our partnership with the RSA also reflects ESB Networks' ongoing commitment to promoting safety at all times. This initiative is part of our wider ‘Stay Safe, Stay Clear’ electrical safety campaign which we are promoting throughout schools in the Republic of Ireland.”

Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid, An Garda Síochána said:

“Children are among the most vulnerable of our road-users so it’s critical that we do everything we can to ensure their safety on the roads. This includes wearing high vis material when out walking or cycling, using a seatbelt or appropriate restraint when travelling by car or bus, and using safety gear such as a helmet. It’s also really important that adults and young adults demonstrate safe behaviour around young people, so if you’re a parent, grandparent, older brother or sister, make sure you set a good example any time you use the road.”

The RSA is also urging schools and parents to take steps to ensure safety when hiring a bus. All bus operators are required by law to ensure their buses are roadworthy and meet a number of requirements including:

  • Having appropriate preventative maintenance regimes, daily walk-around vehicle checks and swift repair of defects
  • Ensuring their buses are tested on-time, and
  • Completing an annual self-declaration in respect of their buses to the Road Safety Authority.

Anyone hiring a bus is encouraged to ask the bus company to complete a Declaration of Compliance (available on www.cvrt.ie) which contains a checklist of the key legal minimum requirements. If you have any concerns about the condition of a bus provided, do not use it and contact the RSA directly via cvrtadmin@rsa.ie

Separately the RSA raised a concern about the practice of people under 18 years of age hiring buses to go to events with their peers.

“In situations that have been brought to our attention by concerned members of the public, the passengers are completely unsupervised. We want to discourage this as we have reports of high jinks activity, often fuelled by alcohol, no seatbelts worn and engaging in behaviour likely to cause harm or at the very least driver distraction. I would call on coach operators not to take bookings form those who are underage and unsupervised by adults.” said Ms Murdock.

Schools can now register online for the RSA’s ‘Back to School’ road safety packs which will be sent to primary schools throughout the country over the coming months. To register online for your packs, or for further road safety inf

Content Last Updated/Reviewed: 01/08/2016