Be Road Safety Aware
The Road Safety Authority advises parents to "make sure your child knows how to behave safely on the roads. If they’re cycling, ensure that they wear the proper protective gear such as a bicycle helmet and high visibility clothing. If they’re walking or playing near roads, make sure they know that they should only cross the road with a grown up and only when it’s safe to do so.
Most importantly, make sure you demonstrate good road safety behaviour at all times. Children learn from what we as parents do so if you’re in the car, drive in a responsible and safe manner and always wear your seatbelt.”
The RSA also has the following advice for parents and motorists:
If you are travelling by car:
Be aware of children when driving, particularly through residential areas. All children should be restrained while you are travelling in a car, so you must select a restraint based on your child's weight and height, and is suitable for the type of car. It is safer for a child to be travelling in the rear of a car. A child should never be left alone in a car.
If you are walking:
Note that small children should not cross roads alone, as they cannot decide how far away a car is or how fast it is going. Regardless of their competence around roads, children walking on country roads should wear reflective armbands and bright clothing. If there is no footpath, children should be taught to 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. Be sure to choose safe places to cross (i.e. footbridges, zebra or pelican crossings), and take time to explain why.
Safety on Bicycles
Ensure that your children 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, and that your child knows the rules of the road for cyclists. Research shows that children do not perfect the skills necessary to safely interact with traffic until they are over the age of 12 years. Before this age, their judgement skills and perception of speed and distance have not yet been fully developed. For these reasons they need help to cycle safely on the road.
For more information on road safety for children, as well as interactive games and videos, visit the ‘Road Safety for Kids’ section of RSA website, www.rsa.ie
Cycling has never been more popular. And why not? It’s fun, fast and affordable. Cycling reduces pollution and eases traffic congestion. On top of all the great exercise cyclists get, they’re also reducing their fuel bills.
It can also be very safe once the road safety rules and lots of practice are put into place.
Cycle Smart, Cycle Safe
- Equipment Check: This covers the correct set-up of a bicycle and the necessary safety equipment. Is the saddle the correct height? Are the tyres nice and firm, and the bell, lights and brakes all working properly? The film also gives advice on the choosing and wearing of a properly approved helmet and the importance of high visibility clothing.
- Rules of the Road: Cyclists need to obey the same rules of the road as every other road user. Stopping at red lights, understanding and heeding road signs and markings is for the good of everyone’s safety, including theirs.
- Sharing the Road: Cyclists need to be aware and mindful of other road users. As well as having to obey the same rules, they also have the same rights. This film covers subjects including how cyclists should pass parked cars, cycling in heavy traffic and the importance of maintaining a safe distance from larger vehicles.
- Signalling: Here, cyclists can learn the proper signalling procedures for making turns and using roundabouts, as well as the cautionary aspects of dealing with other vehicles when signalling.
For more information see the Cycling Safety section here.