Police urge parents to ‘plan ahead’
As alarm clocks across Northern Ireland are set a little earlier in anticipation of the start of the new school and college terms, Police are urging parents and road users to plan ahead for busier rush-hours and heavier traffic.
“With thousands of children and young people returning to schools and colleges across Northern Ireland, it is essential that all road users leave greater time for their journey and most importantly, keep an eye out for children on bicycles or on foot, particularly close to schools, junctions and at bus stops.”
He continued, “Parents should also stress to their children the need for road safety and in particular how to cross the road safely – looking both ways without being distracted by friends, mobile phones or music players. Pupils should also only cross where it is safe, preferably at pedestrian crossings.
”It is important that they cross precisely at these locations and not take the risk of crossing even a short distance away. They should also be aware that it’s better to miss the bus and be late as opposed to taking their chances by running across roads to catch a bus.”
“Watch for bicycles. Children on bikes are often inexperienced, unsteady and unpredictable. Slow down and allow at least three feet of passing distance between your vehicle and the bicycle. If your child rides a bicycle to school, require that they wear a properly-fitted bicycle helmet on every ride.”
Superintendent Clark also appealed for parents on the school run to ensure children travelling to school in cars are properly restrained, warning: “In a crash at just 30mph, an unrestrained child can be thrown forward with a force 30 to 60 times their body weight.
“This means that they would be thrown about inside the vehicle, injuring them and quite possibly seriously injuring or even killing other passengers. They are also likely to be ejected from the car through one of the windows.
He added, “Police will be paying special attention close to schools in the first few weeks of term and where offences are noted, whether for speeding, inappropriate parking or allowing children to travel unrestrained, will be issuing advice, guidance, warning and when appropriate, fixed penalty tickets which carry three penalty points.”
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