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RSA and An Garda Síochána urge caution on roads as schools return

road safety 28.08.2023

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána are appealing to parents, guardians and teachers to ensure road safety is on the back to school checklist for the new school year. The road safety message comes as a significant increase in traffic is expected over the coming days as the country returns to school and work routines.

The RSA and An Garda Síochána have come together to remind drivers to slow down and to be aware of children on their way to school, walking or cycling, over the coming days and into the academic year. Drivers are being asked to ensure they allow at least 1m overtaking distance when passing those who cycle in speed zones up to 50km/h and at least 1.5m when passing in speed zones over 50km/h. Parents are asked to ensure their child is restrained correctly in the back of the car and are also asked not to park their cars on footpaths while dropping or collecting their child to and from school, as this can obstruct pedestrians.

Sam Waide, CEO of the RSA said; “As we enter into a new school year, we urge road users to remain extra cautious as there will be increased traffic volumes with parents and guardians dropping and collecting students from school. The mix of road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, vehicles, and other road-using public, can lead to an unsafe environment.

He continued, “It is imperative that parents speak to their children about road safety, whether they are travelling to school on foot, cycling or travelling by cars or bus. It is also important to remind school principals and staff of the RSA’s Back to School guidelines for improving road safety around schools. These guidelines aid school officials in the development and implementation of road safety action plans to identify and manage risks at the school’s entrance. Guidelines are available on”

Assistant Commissioner, Paula Hilman, Roads Policing and Community Engagement, An Garda Síochána commented; “All road users, especially drivers, will need to be exceptionally vigilant as students return to school. I want to urge parents, when dropping and collecting students from school, not to create a hazard by double parking or parking on yellow lines, which is an offence and causes potentially dangerous obstructions around the school gate. It is also vital that motorists reduce their speed near schools and ensure they give plenty of space when overtaking any children traveling to school by walking or cycling. Drivers should always obey instructions of school wardens as they are there to protect children when crossing the road.”

To date in 2023, a total of 120 people have died on Irish roads, 22 more than the same period in 2022.