Belfast Telegraph

Police school advice

By Staff Reporter

IN anticipation of the start of the new school and college terms, police are urging parents and road users across North Down and Belfast to plan ahead for busier rush-hours and heavier traffic.

Constable John Wilson, Collision Prevention officer, said: "Over the summer months, many of us have benefited from lower levels of traffic and shorter journey times.

"Parents should ensure that high visibility clothing and bags are worn and carried by children and that road safety instruction is given, in particular, how to cross the road safely – looking both ways without being distracted by friends, mobile phones or music players. Pupils should also only cross where it is safe, preferably at pedestrian crossings.

"Watch for bicycles. Children on bikes are often inexperienced, unsteady and unpredictable. Slow down and allow at least three feet of passing distance between your vehicle and the bicycle. If your child rides a bicycle to school, require that they wear a properly-fitted bicycle helmet on every ride and that bicycles have been fitted with appropriate lighting."

Constable Wilson also appealed for parents carrying out the school run to slow down and ensure that they stay well within the speed limits and that children travelling to school in cars are properly restrained, warning: "In a crash at just 30mph, an unrestrained child can be thrown forward with a force 30 to 60 times their body weight.

He added that police would be paying "special attention" close to schools.

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