Cookies on Dublin People website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. We also use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Dublin People website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time by amending your browser settings.
Hide Message
  • News

COMMENT: Kids wiser on road safety laws than some politicians

Monday, 28th January, 2019 7:59am
COMMENT: Kids wiser  on road safety laws than some politicians

Minister Shane Ross pictured with students from St Mary’s National School, Lamb’s Cross, Sandyford.

COMMENT: Kids wiser  on road safety laws than some politicians

Minister Shane Ross pictured with students from St Mary’s National School, Lamb’s Cross, Sandyford.

THE politicians may not get it but the kids certainly do. 

Recently I visited a few primary schools to talk road safety. After years battling politicians and publicans, it was a refreshing experience. Schoolchildren are keen to do the right thing, wear the correct gear and take every precaution necessary to stay safe on the roads. 

One recent instance was the schoolchildren of Our Lady’s Grove National School, Goatstown, who were so concerned about pupils staying safe that their schoolteacher contacted me to have a ‘School Ahead’ sign erected as a warning to motorists or cyclists who might be tempted to speed in the vicinity of their school. 

Many children are in the driving seat where road safety is concerned. They tell their parents to buckle up and put the phone away when they’re in the car. They know that speed kills and only the most selfish of adults drink and drive. They say it’s a ‘no-brainer’.

 The children I spoke to fully understood that it doesn’t matter if you’re over the limit on Saturday night or Sunday morning – you’re still breaking the law if you’re driving a car and putting others at risk. They have zero tolerance for those who speak out of both sides of their mouths where road safety is concerned. There’s nothing like a child to call out hypocrisy when they hear it.

 Which is why I wished I could have had some of the kids come into Dáil Éireann and school their TDs on straight talking. They would have pointed out the sheer insanity of politicians approving legislation and then complain when gardaí implement the law. They would have known these TDs and ministers had not done their homework. Because according to RSA analysis, 11 percent of fatal collisions in which a driver had consumed alcohol occur between the hours of 7am and 11am. 

Drivers with alcohol still in their system from the night before - affecting their judgement - are killing and maiming innocent people on our roads. And yet there’s uproar when the gardaí do their job and breathalyse motorists in the morning. Why? How can anyone be against saving families from the devastation of a loved one killed in a car collision? It’s beyond belief that public representatives should suggest that the gardaí should not do their job.

Thankfully, the public have made their voices clear. They want the gardaí to enforce the law and keep their roads safe. They want to make sure that their kids are safe on their way to school in the mornings, as well as at all other times. 

Our children deserve safe roads, free from drink drivers – no matter what the time of day.

• Shane Ross is Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport and an Independent TD for Dublin Rathdown.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here