Immediate focus needed on road safety as child fatalities double
Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal, Alan Farrell, has today (Wednesday) urged parents preparing to send children back to school to think about road safety, in light of the news that road deaths among children have doubled this year.
“Twice as many children have died on the roads in the first eight months of the year as were lost in the whole of 2013. This means that road safety must become a priority when it comes to preparing children to go back to school.
“This message is particularly important for parents in the densely populated greater Dublin area as almost half of the children who were killed in the period from 1997 to 2012 were pedestrians. The Road Safety Authority also tells us that the peak time for children to be killed on the road is between 4pm and 6pm, just after school.
“The record for road safety among children had been improving for the past fifteen years but the latest figures indicate that we may be getting a little complacent. When it comes to children there is no room for error or distraction; they must be aware of safe behaviour and they must be following the practices of adults around them.
“No matter how our children are getting to school; walking getting the bus, cycling or being dropped off, we must ensure that they are aware of how to be safe around traffic.
“High-visibility clothing and helmets for those on bikes have become much more popular in recent years but they must be seen as part of the school uniform – they are not optional.
“Last year saw the number of fatalities on our roads rise for the first time in fifteen years. Today we learned that more children have died this year than last year, a terrible year on the roads. We cannot let this trend continue. Urgent action is needed and the good news is, it is not difficult. Make sure your child can be seen, that they are educated about road safety and if you are driving ensure that they are safely strapped in.
“With the schools back this week, there is no better time to talk about Road Safety for children.”