This year, Irish Road Safety Week will take place from Monday 7 October to Sunday 13 October with lots of road safety activities planned nationwide.
As part of the annual Child Safety Day on Friday 11 October, the Road Safety Authority has created an exciting initiative called StreetSmart in a bid to teach children as young as four important road safety skills in a fun way.
Designed for three distinct age groups of 4-5, 5-8 and 8-12 years, it aims to bring issues of road safety to life with a combination of interactive activities available for each age group. In this way, children can learn from their own experiences and those of their classmates.
The StreetSmart programme invites children to dress up and adopt various roles such as a nurse, doctor, fire officer or ambulance driver while carrying out typical, everyday cycling or pedestrian tasks.
Alongside Road Safety Authority representatives, who are on hand to coordinate the activities with the help of teachers, students learn about road safety, cycle safety and travelling safely in a car or bus using a giant ‘streetscape’ mat measuring 9 metres x 10 metres with a number of props to simulate a real street which can be assembled in the school hall or community centre.
The programme is an action-packed, fun-filled day that enhances the student’s knowledge of the rules of the road with activities including:
A quiz that will test children's knowledge on a range of common road safety issues, while educating them as to the right way of doing things through fun and engaging exercises.
Children will get a chance to sit behind the wheel of a toy car, letting them see the traffic conditions from the perspective of a motorist, illustrating how it can be difficult to see pedestrians.
Using a series of filmed street scenes, the RSA will ask children for feedback as to what constitutes safe and unsafe pedestrian behaviour.
Each student who takes part in the programme will receive a personalised safety license as a reward for completing their road safety activities.
If you would like to book a free StreetSmart session for your community club or school, get in touch with the Road Safety Authority of Ireland by emailing [email protected], alternately you can call 087 755 5846.
National "Beep Beep Day" will also take place during Child Safety Day. Beep Beep Day is a chance for children aged 5 and under to learn and practise basic road safety skills from a young age with storybooks, songs, games and activities. The RSA has provided 1,300 Beep Beep packs to pre-school providers across the country including 40,000 vests as part of the campaign.
The RSA's mission is to make roads safer for everyone - the current national Road Safety Strategy aims to reduce collisions, deaths and injuries by 30%.