Be bright, be seen when travelling to and from schools and colleges is the key road safety message from the Education Authority (EA) to pupils and parents/guardians.
In a letter to all schools, EA Director of Operations and Estates, Sara Long asked Principals to take the opportunity at Christmas assemblies to remind pupils of the need to be seen by drivers, especially during the dark mornings and evenings, when travelling between home, bus stops and school.
She said, “At this time of year, pupils need to be particularly vigilant. Limited visibility during the winter months, along with heavy traffic and the excitement surrounding the Christmas season, can increase the likelihood of serious, and sometimes fatal, accidents. It is everyone’s responsibility to use caution and stay focused and alert to ensure children can travel to and from school safely.”
To promote and enhance safe travel for young people, schools are encouraged to highlight Road Safety NI’s message ‘Be Bright, Be Seen’ at school assemblies. Wearing a small patch of reflective clothing or high visibility item on a dark morning or evening can help drivers to see pupils from very far away.
Pupils are most at risk when disembarking buses. It is important that they take up a position at the side of the road and allow the bus to move safely away before attempting to cross the road. Pupils should only cross the road when it is free of traffic and when they have a clear view to their left and right.
All EA vehicles used to transport pupils are fitted with seatbelts. Pupils must wear them at all times when travelling. During this period of severe weather, parents should also ensure that children know what to do if transport provision is late or does not arrive, and if required, have suitable alternative arrangements in place to ensure safe transportation
Additional information for parents/guardians of pupils who are transported to and from school by the EA Home to School Transport Service is available on the EA website in our ‘Safe School Transport’ leaflets at www.eani.org.uk/bebrightbeseen
The Authority wishes to thank schools and parents for their ongoing support in promoting safe school travel to and from school.