Road phone safety for children

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WITH the start of the new school year, a warning has gone out to children to be careful using their mobile phones or ipods while walking.

Already there have been a number of pedestrians injured stepping off the pavement while distracted on their phones or other mobile devices.

“Phones can be dangerous to pedestrians as well as drivers,” warned local Road Policing Education Officer Billy Dempsey.

And also with school runs, drivers are being urged to curb any impatience they may feel about longer journey times.

An increased volume of traffic could mean that journeys will take longer, said Constable Dempsey.

“It is particularly important that drivers do not give in to the urge to try to make up time by resorting to impatient driving tactics. How many times have you seen a driver make a risky overtake at corners or approaching hill crests, then found them maybe three to five cars ahead of you in the queue further along the road.

“They may have made up a minute on their journey, but that minute of chancy driving could result in a life-changing minute for a number of people if they are involved in a collision.

“Contrary to popular belief, fatal collisions are not confined to late evenings and very early hours of the mornings at weekend and due to drink-driving. They also occur in the early morning rush hours.

“Those who walk to school need to know how to cross the road safely, how to use pedestrian crossings, and in the absence of crossing patrols, how to identify a safe place to cross.

“In rural areas where there are no footpaths, pedestrians should always walk facing the oncoming traffic, should wear something bright and in conditions of poor light should also wear something reflective and carry a torch to alert motorists to their presence.

“Children can sometimes be unpredictable and can dart across the road without warning to meet up with friends. That is why we continually urge drivers to slow down when approaching schools so they can stop suddenly and safely if required to do so,” said Constable Dempsey.