Advice for parents

A report on child road user casualties produced by the Road Safety Authority and co-funded by Elvery’s Sports shows that a total of 141 children under 14 years of age died and 5,732 suffered serious and minor injuries on our roads between 1998 and 2005.
The report “Child Road User Casualties 1998 to 2005” indicates that just under half (48.9 per cent) of children killed on our roads were pedestrians and over a third (35 per cent) of children killed were passengers in cars.

In light of this information our Road Safety Officer is appealing to all parents and carers to make their children aware of the dangers on our roads. It is important for parents to talk to their children about road safety at all times throughout the school year.

Follow these simple tips to help you ensure your child remains safe and develops good road sense and traffic awareness skills.

Children under 6

On the pavement

  • Hold your child's hand and don't let your child run ahead.
  • Look out for and encourage your child to be aware of hidden entrances or driveways crossing the pavement where vehicles may be reversing.
  • Make sure your child walks on the side of the pavement away from the traffic.
  • Remind children that they are much smaller than cars and this makes it hard for them to see the road and for motorists to see them.

Crossing the road

  • Children starting primary school need to be with an adult as they are not ready to cross roads on their own before they're about eight years old.
  • Always set a good example by choosing safe places to cross and explain what you are doing.
  • Use the Safe Cross Code and explain that you have to stop at the kerb, then look both ways and listen for traffic before crossing.
  • When it is safe to cross, walk straight across the road and keep looking and listening for traffic.
  • Remind children to concentrate – they may be easily distracted.
  • Make sure that anyone else looking after your child follows the same road safety rules as you do.

Children 7 – 11 years

  • Explain road safety rules.
  • Use the Safe Cross Code.
  • Talk about what's going on in the street.
  • Encourage your child to talk about what they see on the roads and whether it's safe practice or not.
  • Let your child make decisions with you, so that they learn through activity.
  • Help your child plan the safest route to the shops, granny's house, etc.

Teenagers

Teenagers are more likely to be killed or injured in a road accident than any other age group. Help protect your teenager by:

  • Stressing the need to concentrate and be careful at all times.
  • Warn of the dangers of personal stereos, using the phone or texting.
  • Keep talking about the dangers of traffic.
  • Point out other people who are endangering themselves.
  • Encourage them to practise judging the speed and distance of approaching vehicles on busy roads and identify safe gaps in traffic.
  • Develop a strategy for emergency situations such as what they will do if they miss the last bus home.

Parking Outside Schools

All schools experience a great deal of congestion before and after school. Most parents are patient, and have the safety of the children in mind when parking. However, the safety of all children is put at risk when some parents refuse to abide by parking regulations, using lateness or rain or being in a hurry as an excuse. They say it’s only just this once.

But multiply this one time three or four times a year for every parent in the school and the problem becomes obvious. Just this once is not a valid excuse. Just this once can cause a fatal accident. It is never okay to ignore parking regulation signs. They have been placed in certain areas because if vehicles park in those areas, the view of other vehicles and pedestrians is blocked. This creates a dangerous situation.

  • Parents are also asked:
  • Not to call children across the road;
  • Not to do U turns outside schools on roads crowded with pedestrians and traffic;
  • Use pedestrian crossings;
  • Drop children on the school side of the road and make sure they exit the car on the kerb side.

School Bus Safety

We want you and your friends to get to and from school safely so please follow the below advice:

  • Leave home early enough to arrive at your bus stop on time.
  • Wait for your bus in a safe place - well off the roadway.
  • Enter your bus in on orderly manner and take your seat.
  • Wear your seat belt if there is one fitted.
  • Follow the instructions of your school bus driver or bus patrol.
  • Remain in your seat while your bus is in motion.
  • Keep your head and arms in the bus at all times.
  • Keep aisles clear at all times.
  • Remain quiet and orderly.
  • Be courteous to your school bus driver and fellow passengers.
  • Be alert to traffic when leaving the bus.
  • Walk to your bus stop (Be safe Be seen) - avoid asking your parents to drive you there.

If you have any questions or queries regarding road safety, please contact us using the details below.