The Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána are appealing to parents, guardians and teachers to ensure road safety, in particular seatbelt safety, is on the back to school lesson plan for all school children. RSA research shows that 10% of children travelling in the back seat of vehicles are not using proper restraints such as child car seats or seat belts. In 2017, the RSA conducted a nationwide study that observed seatbelt usage by 3,861 children both in the front and the rear seats of the vehicle. As part of the study, 93% of children were observed wearing seatbelts however when observing children in the rear of the vehicle only, compliance dropped to 89%. While overall seatbelt usage rates by children has improved from 88% of children observed wearing a seatbelt in 2016, the figures show that some parents are still allowing their children to travel in cars without being securely buckled in. As well as the ‘seatbelt safety’ message, 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 eighth 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 880,000 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.
Paul Mulvaney, Executive Director, Networks Customer Delivery, ESB Networks, said: “We are delighted to partner with the RSA again to ensure that school children are visible on the roads. Safety is at the heart of what we do in ESB Networks and this partnership is just one element of our wider ‘Stay Safe. Stay Clear’ educational initiative for primary school children. This is the eighth year of our high visibility vest delivery programme, ensuring that our youngest road users can be seen when they are out and about. We encourage all schools to register for the ‘Back to School’ packs and to remain safe by being seen.”
Pictured: Presentation of high visibility vests to St Raphael’s National School as part of ESB Networks’ School Safety Programme in partnership with the Road Safety Authority (RSA). Pictured are Junior Infants from St Raphael’s National School in Ballyfermot with Paula Boyd, ESB Networks.