2010 News

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24 August 2010

RSA and ESB to Distribute 80,000 High Visibility Vests to Junior Infants Nationwide

As parents and children around the country prepare for the start of the school year, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and ESB today (August 24th) announced the distribution of 80,000 high visibility vests to every child starting school this September.

The initiative, sponsored by ESB, is part of the RSA’s ‘Back to School’ campaign which reminds parents, guardians and teachers to make road safety a priority in their back to school preparations.

Noel Brett, CEO, Road Safety Authority said: “We are delighted that ESB has come on board with us on this very important initiative. Every year, we remind parents and guardians to make sure that road safety is a priority on their child’s back to school checklist and this year is no different. Children are the most vulnerable of our road-users so it is really important that they are ‘streetwise’ about road safety”.

Speaking at the launch of the campaign, Johnny Shine, Deputy Chief Executive, ESB said: “We are proud to team up with the RSA to promote road safety awareness amongst school children and support the national road safety agenda. The nationwide campaign will include the distribution of 80,000 high visibility vests to all children starting school in September and focus attention on the importance of road safety”.

“ESB is committed to the highest levels of safety performance inside and outside the workplace and this is reflected in our strategic alliance with the RSA to promote safe driving”, he added.

The RSA ‘Back to School’ pack will be sent to every primary and secondary school in September:

  • The ‘Back to School’ pack for Primary Schools contains:
    High visibility vests – In partnership with the ESB, a total of 80,000 high visibility vests will be given out free to every child starting school for the first time in September;
  • ‘Going to School’ leaflets for junior infants entering education. This is a parent’s guide to getting children to school safety;
  • ‘Safe Cross Code’ CD together with a poster with the words of the Safe Cross Code song to be taught in the classroom;
  • ‘Let’s Go’, a resource which provides the relevant school authorities in primary and secondary schools with information on how to be road safety aware when organising or travelling to school events;
  •  ‘School News’ newsletter.

The ‘Back to School’ pack for Secondary Schools contains:

  • ‘Let’s Go’, a resource which provides the relevant school authorities in primary and secondary schools with information on how to be road safety aware when organising or travelling to school events;
  •   ‘School News’ newsletter;
  • The ‘Cycle Safety’ booklet and poster which provides secondary schools with tips and information on cycling safely.

Seán Haughey T.D. Minister for Lifelong Learning at the Department of Education and Skills said: "I congratulate the Road Safety Authority and the ESB for making this life-saving road safety gear available to our most vulnerable of road-users as part of the RSA ‘Back to School’ campaign. It is really important to start road safety education at a young age, so I would ask parents, guardians and teachers nationwide to make road safety a priority, both at home and in school, and teach children the knowledge and skills to be safe on our roads.”

Noel Brett, CEO, RSA reminded parents to demonstrate good road safety behaviour to their children at all times: “It’s not just the practical additions to the back to school list that are important – parents and guardians should make a real effort to demonstrate good road safety behaviour at all times as your child will learn from your example. So if your child walks or cycles to school, take them on the route in advance and make sure they know where they are going. If they travel by car or bus, make sure they know how important it is to put their seatbelt on at all times.”

Mr Brett also had a message for teachers and urged them to make road safety a key part of their lesson plan: “We would ask teachers to consider including a road safety lesson from the RSA’s road safety resources in their classes. There’s ‘Be Safe’ for primary level which includes the ‘Safe Cross Code’ as well as ‘Seatbelt Sheriff’ for first class and ‘Hi-Glo Silver’ for second class. At secondary level we have a Junior Cycle resource called ‘Streetwise’ and there is also a programme for Transition Year called ‘Your Road to Safety’. For both primary and secondary schools, there’s a new resource called ‘Let’s Go’ which can be used in conjunction with existing road safety resources’”

ENDS

For further information:

RSA Communications Office: 096 25008

Or
ESB Press Office: 01 702 6193

Editor’s Notes:

RSA & ESB Alliance
A strategic alliance between ESB and RSA was established in 2009 to achieve road safety excellence in Ireland. ESB and RSA will achieve this by supporting each others programmes and campaigns, and ESB will also showcase safety improvements and pilot road safety initiatives in cooperation with RSA. The joint “Be Safe. Be Seen” campaign is one of the initiatives arising out of the strategic alliance. RSA and ESB ecars, responsible for the rollout of ecar charging infrastructure, are working together on a "Safe Driving of Electric Cars" initiative. 

 
The RSA has the following ‘back to school’ advice for parents, guardians and children:

Travelling by Car

  • All children should be restrained when travelling in a car;
  • Select a restraint that is based on your child’s weight and height and is suitable for the type of car;
  • Remember its safer if children travel in the rear of a car;
  • Never leave children alone in a car.

Walking to School

  • Small children should not cross roads alone. They cannot decide how far away a car is or how fast it is going;
  • Walk the route to school with them in advance;
  • Children walking on country roads should wear reflective armbands and bright clothing;
  • If there is no footpath, walk on the right-hand side of the road facing oncoming traffic keeping as close as possible to the side of the road;
  • Show your child how to cross the road by example. Choose safe places to cross and take time to explain why i.e. footbridges, zebra or pelican crossings, lollipop lady/man or junior school warden patrol.

Travelling by Bus

  • Teach children to take special care getting on or off a bus or mini-bus;
  • While waiting for a bus, children should stand well in off the road;
  • Before crossing the road they should wait until the bus has moved off and they can see clearly in both directions;
  • If seatbelts are fitted, they must be worn.

Cycle Safety

  • Make sure they are highly visible by wearing a reflective belt and bright clothes and wear a bicycle safety helmet on all journeys;
  • Check that the bicycle’s brakes, lights, reflector and bell are in good working order.

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