BETWEEN 1997 AND 2012, there has been an 89 per cent reduction in the number of children killed on Irish roads.
Despite this fall, 262 young lives were lost during this period, a further 1,107 were seriously injured while so far this year, four children were killed.
The latest report from the Road Safety Authority (RSA) found that not wearing a seatbelt or child restraint was the cause of three in every 10 child road deaths, while two in five child fatalities on roads were pedestrians or car passengers.
The report also found that children are most at risk of being killed on the roads between 4.00pm and 5.59pm, the time when they may be travelling home from school.
With schools reopening around the country for the start of a new school year, the RSA is asking parents, teachers and children to make every effort to ensure this school year is a safe one:
- Parents should ensure their child is kitted out with the necessary road safety gear.
- Younger children should be accompanied by a responsible adult.
- When travelling by car or bus, children should always be restrained in the appropriate child restraint.
- Older children, who may walk or cycle, it is important that they learn how to share the road safely with other road-users, for example, how to use hand signals to indicate a manoeuvre and always obeying the rules of the road.
- Be careful when dropping children off at school as many schools can’t cater for high volumes of traffic.