“Remember, Look for a safe place………”
The Road Safety Authority has re-introduced ‘Safe Cross Code’ song as part of a package of road safety measures aimed at primary school children. The announcement comes as parents and school children across the country prepare for the start of a new school year.
“The original Safe Cross Code song was a huge hit back in the seventies and was instrumental in teaching a generation of school goers’ safe road user habits. Many teachers have contacted us, over the last two years, to tell us that they use the song in the class room to teach their students the safe cross code. So given the fact that the song is as relevant today as it was back then, we felt it was time to bring it back and re-introduce it to a new generation of road users,’ Said Mr. Noel Brett, CEO, Road Safety Authority. “The re-recorded version, which is completely faithful to the original, is sung by show biz legend Brendan Grace who recorded the original and features school children from Derrywash, National School, Castlebar Co. Mayo who along with their Principal Sharon Dunleavy, picked up a ‘Leading Lights in Road Safety’ Award last year from the RSA.”
The RSA now plans to send a CD of the song, which has also been recorded in Irish for the first time, together with a special Safe Cross Code Song poster to every national school in the country in September as part of its “Back to School” road safety pack.
The “Back to School” pack which is being sent to every primary school will contain;
– “Be Safe” – An activity based resources pack on Road Safety, Fire Safety & Water Safety
– Going to School leaflets for junior infants entering education. This is a parent’s guide to getting children to school safety.
– Safe Cross Code CD together with a poster with the words of the Safe Cross Code song to be taught in the classroom
– School News newsletter
– Hi vis armbands – In partnership with the Department of Education a total of 65,000 high visibility arm bands will be given out free to every child starting school for the first time in September.
Minister for Education Mr. Batt O’Keeffe, T.D. said “I congratulate the Road Safety Authority for their work in promoting this Back to School Road Safety campaign. I know that schools will use these resources to good effect as part of the Social Personal and Health Education Curriculum. It is important that children learn at the earliest possible age the knowledge and skills which will help to keep them safe on our busy roads, and that these safety messages are continually reinforced by parents and teachers.”
Mr. Brett, also urged parents to put road safety on the back to school checklist “consider including high visibility clothing, bicycle helmets and other life saving road safety gear on your child’s ‘back to school’ shopping lists and make sure they are street-wise about road safety before they go back to school.”
He added “Demonstrate good road safety behaviour at all times as your child will learn from your example. So if your child walks or cycles to school, take them on the route in advance and make sure they know where they are going. If they travel by car or bus, make sure they know how important it is to put their seatbelt on at all times.”
Mr Brett also had a message for teachers “We would also ask teachers to consider including a road safety lesson from the RSA’s road safety resources in their classes. There’s ‘Be Safe’ for primary level. At secondary level we have a new Junior Cycle resource entitled ‘Streetwise’ and the new Transition Year programme.
The Road Safety Authority is providing the following ‘back to school’ advice for parents and children:
Travelling by Car
All children should be restrained when travelling in a car
Select a restraint that is based on your child’s weight and height and is suitable for the type of car
Remember its safer if children travel in the rear of a car
Never leave children alone in a car
Walking to School
Small children should not cross roads alone. They cannot decide how far away a car is or how fast it is going
Walk the route to school with them in advance
Children walking on country roads should wear reflective armbands and bright clothing
If there is no footpath, walk on the right-hand side of the road facing oncoming traffic keeping as close as possible to the side of the road
Show your child how to cross the road by example. Choose safe places to cross and take time to explain why i.e. footbridges, zebra or pelican crossings, lollipop lady/man or junior school warden patrol.
Travelling by Bus
Teach children to take special care getting on or off a bus or mini-bus
While waiting for a bus, children should stand well in off the road
Before crossing the road they should wait until the bus has moved off and they can see clearly in both directions
If seatbelts are fitted, they must be worn
Make sure they are highly visible by wearing a reflective belt and bright clothes and wear a bicycle safety helmet on all journeys
Check that the bicycle’s brakes, lights, reflector and bell are in good working order