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Road safety book proves popular with Northern Ireland schools


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A road safety campaign group has taken 7,000 orders for a new booklet (TfL/PA)

A road safety campaign group has taken 7,000 orders for a new booklet (TfL/PA)

A road safety campaign group has taken 7,000 orders for a new booklet (TfL/PA)

A road safety campaign group has taken 7,000 orders for a new booklet after receiving a fantastic response from primary schools across Northern Ireland.

'Street Smart, Road Safe' was the brainchild of Road Safe NI chairman Davy Jackson, who developed the idea based on England's Department of Transport's version.

After realising Northern Ireland lacked a comprehensive road safety message for primary school children, Mr Jackson was granted £4,995 by the Department for Infrastructure to create the book.

Road Safe NI published 10,000 copies and sent a booklet to 825 primary schools, explaining that it could also be downloaded for free from their website.

Since last week, the charity has received 7,000 orders for hard copies and now hopes to gain sponsorship to publish another 25,000 to deliver the vital road safety message.

"Schools started to phone us saying they couldn't afford to print them off for all of the kids or they could only use black and white printing," Mr Jackson explained.

"They also said part of the feature of this booklet is the feel and touch of it because the way it came out was marvellous.

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Davy Jackson from Road Safety NI

Davy Jackson from Road Safety NI

Davy Jackson from Road Safety NI

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"Our volunteers are distributing them to schools now because we haven't got the money to post them out so our ambition is to seek sponsorship between now and the summer to get funding to print 25,000 copies.

"Around 25,000 children start school every year and if we could get these out to all the primary five pupils this year, and the same next year and so on, then every primary school child will have one."

The booklet provides advice on road safety when children are out walking, cycling, travelling in cars or crossing the road - everything a child needs to know about the dangers of the road.

"We're also applying for further funding to come up with further resources for that age group because we believe firmly that if lessons are learned at that age, children will carry them through the rest of their lives," continued Mr Jackson. "It could save a life at the end of the day."

Michelle Ramsey, principal of the Model Primary School in Londonderry, said her pupils "love" the book and it was the first time her school has had "anything so detailed" in child road safety.

"I think it's absolutely fantastic, it's so bright and colourful, and really well put together," she added. "There's just so much information that's really vital for children at the minute as we come out of lockdown."

Belfast Telegraph


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