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Police issue back to school road safety advice

27 Aug 2010

As the new school term gets underway, police are urging parents on the school run to ensure children travelling to school in cars are properly restrained.

Superintendent Muir Clark explained, “In a crash at just 30mph, an unrestrained child would be thrown forward with a force 30 to 60 times their body weight.

“This means that they would be thrown about inside the vehicle, injuring themselves and quite possibly seriously injuring (or even killing) other passengers. They are also likely to be ejected from the car through one of the windows. Our message is simple and the law is very clear in this regard.

“Seatbelt legislation states:

· Children under three years MUST use an appropriate child restraint in any vehicle - the only exception being when travelling in a taxi, where they must use an adult belt, if no suitable restraint is available.

· In vehicles where seat belts are fitted, children from three years and up to 135cms in height or 12 years of age, MUST use the appropriate child restraint. The only exceptions are in respect of taxis, unexpected short journeys and where two fitted child restraints prevent the fitting of a third.

“Police will be paying special attention close to schools in the first few weeks of term and where offences are noted, fixed penalty tickets which carry three penalty points will be issued.”

Superintendent Clark went on to warn all road users to be aware of increased numbers of young people on the streets during the morning and evening rush hours.

"Motorists who have enjoyed reduced traffic flows and shorter journey times over the summer holidays should now be prepared to allow extra time for their journeys, and more vehicles on the roads.

“It will also be important for all road users to be vigilant for children on bicycles or on foot, particularly close to schools, junctions and at bus stops.

"Parents should also stress to their children the need for road safety, and in particular how to cross the road safely – looking both ways without being distracted by friends, mobile phones or Mp3 players. Pupils should only cross where it is safe, and should look out for pedestrian crossings or school crossing wardens.

"It is important that they cross precisely at these locations and not take the risk of crossing even a short distance away. They should also be aware that it’s better to miss the bus and be late as opposed to taking their chances by running across roads to catch a bus!” Superintendent Clark concluded.