International conference on Children and Road Safety

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) Hosted its 2015 International Road Safety Conference at Dublin Castle on Thursday 20th March. The Theme of the conference was ‘Children and Road Safety’ and ran from 10am to 4.30pm in the Main Conference Hall, Dublin Castle, Dublin 2.

Road deaths are the leading cause of child mortality in Ireland with road traffic collisions accounting for 36.7% of all child deaths. The conference took place at Dublin Castle and focused on children and road safety. The child safety theme was particularly relevant as it was mid-term break for schools and given the fact that the number of children killed on our roads almost tripled last year. 14 children under the age of 15 lost their lives in 2014. Seven were passengers, seven were pedestrians. While child fatalities have decreased by 89% and serious injuries by 75%, from 1997 to 2012, a total of 262 children were killed and 1,115 seriously injured in that period*. The greatest danger a child faces each day is when using the road: when travelling as passengers in a car, walking or cycling. Just under half of all children who die do so while walking and almost 2 out of 5 children killed are passengers. Garda reports into collisions indicate that 1 in 10 children were not wearing a seatbelt or using a child restraint.

The conference, which was attended by over 200 delegates, featured speakers from Sweden, the Netherlands, the UK and Ireland. Among the speakers at the conference was;

  • Mr Rod King, MBE, Founder & Campaign Director, UK ‘20’s Plenty for Us’, who presented on his campaign which shows that most of the large urban local authorities in the UK are implementing area-wide 20mph (30km/h) limits, and shared the resulting benefits for children in local communities around the UK
  • Dr Margaret Ryan from the School of Psychology Trinity College Dublin
  • Professor Alf Nicholson, Consultant Paediatrician at Temple Street Hospital
  • Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive Officer of the Road Safety Authority
  • Velma Burns, Research Manager with the Road Safety Authority
  • Dr Divera A.M. Twisk, of the SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research, Netherlands
  • Katarina Bohman, Principal Research Engineer in Autoliv Development AB, Sweden
  • Åsa Viklund, Traffic safety Strategist, Swedish Transport Administration
  • Mr Michael Aherne, Head of Transport Development Division, National Transport Authority
  • Garda Ashling Connor, Community Garda
  • Aisling Leonard, Senior Road Safety Promotion Officer with the Road Safety Authority.

Broadcaster, Journalist and TV documentary Presenter Mr Charlie Bird presented a new RSA series of short documentaries on child safety on our roads, including school gateway risk, housing estate risk, and child safety in cars. The series can be viewed at the following links.

School Gateway Risk

Housing Estate Risk

Child Safety in Cars

 

*RSA report, published 2014, examined the number of children killed on our roads between 1997 to 2012.

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