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child casualties

Ever think about driveway safety? New campaign to protect kids playing at home

41% of all child road fatalities occur in built-up areas, according to the latest stats.

THE ROAD SAFETY Authority issues regular warnings and advisories to drivers around this time of year.

And with the evenings brightening up and a number of bank holiday weekends on the horizon, the organisation’s latest campaign focuses on a sometimes overlooked area: driveways.

A series of videos have been produced by the authority, in tandem with a social media campaign – all focusing on child safety in or near driveways, or in housing estates.

“Children are the most vulnerable of our road-users so it is really important that we as adults take responsibility for their safety,” RSA CEO Moyagh Murdock said.

“The aim of these videos is to provide all of us with tools to do this.

These videos provide clear steps that each of us can take to protect our children whether in a car, driveway or out on housing estate roads.

RSA Ireland / YouTube

Their checklist includes the following points – and you can check out the full list on the RSA website.

  • Place your child in an appropriate child restraint. It’s the law and failure to do so incurs 3 penalty points and a fixed charge notice.
  • Always supervise children at play and hold their hand when walking on or near driveways and roads.
  • Where possible, reverse your vehicle into the driveway or parking space. This makes it much safer for driving out again. If your view is obstructed always ask another adult to help guide you out of a driveway or parking space.
  • Develop a short series of steps for checking that an area is safe before you get into the car. Check all around your car and check that gates and entrances are closed or locked. Then check outside the garden and driveway areas to make sure there are no children there.
  • Carry out a basic ‘Cockpit Drill’ each time you get behind the wheel. 

baby Road Safety Authority Road Safety Authority

The authority adds:

Remember, children do not have the same understanding or awareness of dangers that you have, so you need to modify your behaviour in any area where you think there may be children at play. Slow down, respect your environment and always, expect the unexpected.

38 children aged 14 years and under were killed on Irish roads between 2010 and 2015. The most recent RSA Child Casualty Report found that 41% of all child fatalities occurred in built-up areas.

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