Sir, – Maybe school trips were less exciting in my day, but one of the highlights of my primary school years was going to “Traffic School”, which was located between Alfie Byrne Road and Clontarf Dart Station in Dublin. After watching a safety video, we would be divided into three groups: pedestrians, cyclists and “drivers”, who used little go-karts. There were miniature traffic lights, zebra crossings, roundabouts, etc, and we would rotate after a set period of time, so each child had a chance to try all three road user experiences. The dedicated staff managed to convey the road safety message in a fun way.
Since Traffic School closed in 2006, none of our current school children have experienced it. Dublin City Council expressed a desire to reopen it in 2019, but nothing appears to have happened. In view of worsening road safety statistics, it would be a prudent time to give some thought to opening a series of such traffic schools across the country. These could be more sophisticated than the old one, such that they would suit both primary and secondary school students, and include guidance on more modern-day hazards such as e-bikes, e-scooters and silent electric cars. By charging a small fee per head, they could be self-funding.
As many other destinations for school trips have not reopened after Covid-19, traffic schools would have a ready-made audience and would improve awareness of road safety among our children and young people. – Yours, etc,