New research from the Road Safety Authority (RSA) has revealed a 77.8% reduction in the number of children (0-14 years old) killed on Irish roads in the period 1997 to 2010. This was announced as the RSA and Electric Ireland teamed up for the third year running to distribute 85,500 high visibility vests to every child starting school this year. The vests will be included in the RSA’s ‘Back to School’ road safety packs which will be distributed to primary schools nationwide over the coming months. The RSA’s ‘Child Casualties Report’ also revealed that there has been an 81.8% reduction in child passenger fatalities when compared to 2010 compared to 1997. However, the report found that of the child passenger fatalities in this period, 1 in 3 was not wearing a seatbelt or a child restraint. The report also showed that:
252 children were killed and 1,059 were seriously injured on Irish roads between 1997 and 2010; Child fatalities decreased by 77.8% in the period 1997 to 2010 with a 39.6% reduction in serious injuries, a 63.6% reduction in pedestrian fatalities, a 100% reduction in cyclist fatalities and an 81.8% reduction in child passenger fatalities; 43% of children who were killed or seriously injured between 1997 and 2010 were passengers in a car; 60% of child fatalities between 1997 and 2010 occurred on roads outside built up areas where the speed limit is higher than 60km/h; 1 in 3 child fatalities occurred between 4pm and 6:59pm
The research also revealed that over half (56%) of all child casualties in Ireland between 1997 and 2010 were pedestrians or cyclists. The RSA and Electric Ireland are providing every child starting school with a high visibility vest to ensure they are clearly seen by other road users when walking or cycling to school.
The RSA is also asking parents to include road safety gear such as bicycle helmets in their ‘Back to School’ shopping list and encouraged them to show their children how to use the roads safely when walking, cycling or travelling to school by bus or car.
The RSA also has a number of other road safety resources for teachers and students including the ‘Safe Cross Code’, ‘Street Smart’, ‘Be Safe’, ‘Let’s Go’, ‘Seatbelt Sheriff’ and ‘Hi Glo Silver’ for primary level, all of which teach young road users how to use the roads safely. At secondary level, there is the Junior Cycle resource entitled ‘Streetwise’ as well as ‘Your Road to Safety’ for Transition Year. The ‘Let’s Go’ CD, which is a road safety resource for principals and teachers, will be delivered to every secondary school over the coming weeks.
For further road safety information for parents, teachers and students, visit www.rsa.ie