BACK to school – make
sure our children don't learn lessons the hard way.
Donegal County Councils Road Safety Officer Brian
O’Donnell is asking parents and motorists to ensure
that our most vulnerable road users don’t learn
lessons the hard way as thousands of children and
young people get ready to return to school this
“This is a time of great preparation for families as
everyone gets set for the new school year and as
children are our most vulnerable road-users, it is
up to all of us to ensure we play our part in
keeping them safe on our roads” says Brian
Brian advises “if your child walks or cycles to
school, take them on the route in advance and make
sure they know where they are going and how to use
the roads and footpaths safely”.
The following is ‘back to school’ advice is for
parents and children:
• Reduce distractions in your car so you can
concentrate on the road and pedestrians.
• Remember to be especially careful in around
schools and other areas where children are being
picked up and dropped off.
• Slow down when passing a stationary school bus
when it is dropping off or picking up children and
always adhere to the speed limits.
• Be a good role model. Set a good example by always
wearing your seatbelt, also ensuring that all
passengers are wearing their seatbelt and always
putting your phone away when driving.
• Not only are children at risk in vehicles or on
bicycles, they are highly vulnerable as pedestrians.
• Teach children at an early age to look left, right
and left again before crossing the road. Then remind
them to continue looking until safely across.
• Teach children to put phones, headphones and
devices down when crossing the road. It is
particularly important to reinforce this message
• It’s always best to walk on footpaths and cross at
a safe location, using pedestrian crossings when
• Children under 10 need to cross the road with an
adult. Every child is different, but most children
are unable to judge the speed and distance of
oncoming cars until they are at least aged 10.