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Dublin: 10°C Tuesday 19 January 2021
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Child deaths on Irish roads halved between 1997 and 2006

The RSA is calling on parents and teachers to give road safety tips and guidance to children as they head back to school.

Alanna, left, and Faye McEntaggart from Rathbeggan National School in Dunshaughlin helping to launch the high-vis vest campaign last year.
Alanna, left, and Faye McEntaggart from Rathbeggan National School in Dunshaughlin helping to launch the high-vis vest campaign last year.
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

NEW RESEARCH by the Road Safety Authority shows that the number of children aged up to 14 years who were killed on Irish roads fell by almost half between 1997 and 2006.

The Child Casualties Report also shows that the number of child passengers killed in traffic accidents fell by 73 per cent over the same period.

Two hundred and forty-six children aged under 14 were killed over these years and more than 1,000 were seriously injured.

Most of those fatalities occurred between 4pm and 6pm.

The majority (61 per cent) of child deaths on Irish roads in those years occurred on roads with speed limits above 60 km per hour and were outside urban built-up areas. One in four child road deaths happened in Dublin or Cork.

Every child starting primary school this year is being given a high visibility vest courtesy of the RSA and ESB Electric Ireland. Over 80,000 vests will be distributed in special school packs in November.

RSA Chief Executive Noel Bretty said that despite the reduction in child fatalities on the roads, he urged parents and teachers to make road safety a priority when preparing their children for the return to school. “Simply put, one death is one too many,” he said.

Brett asked parents to consider bicycle helmets for their cycling children and ensure that they demonstrated good road behaviour for their children.

Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar also said that adults “have a responsibility to show young road-users the correct way to behave when walking, cycling or travelling to school by bus or car.”

Overall last year, 212 people died on Irish roads. Almost half of those fatalities occurred at the weekend.

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