Children and road safety

 

Sir, – The Road Safety Authority has noted the doubling of child road fatalities (“Warning over road safety as children return to school”, August 28th). They include a long list of actions to protect young pedestrians and cyclists. So far, so good.

Sadly, not a single one of these recommendation is addressed at drivers. The clear implication is that child pedestrians and cyclists and their parents are solely responsible for road safety. The chief executive even suggests that children should get “streetwise”.

This message follows the theme of previous Irish road safety campaigns, warning the public that walking and cycling are inherently dangerous and that anyone engaging in such risky activity should dress up like a Christmas tree. The result is to frighten people back into cars. Because inactivity is a greater threat to public health than sudden accident, this approach is harmful.

Would it be too much to ask the RSA to run a campaign reminding drivers to look out for those few schoolchildren who walk or cycle and to perhaps join them by getting out of their cars once in a while? – Yours, etc,

Cllr OSSIAN SMYTH,

Montpelier Place,

Monkstown, Co Dublin.