Back to School campaign for all children starting primary school for the first time and for students starting secondary school.

Initiative details

Back to School campaign for all children starting primary school for the first time and for students starting secondary school.

Organisation details

Ballina, Co. Mayo

Contact name

Christine Hegarty

Telephone number

00353 87 9143104

Project activities

If you work together with external partners, list the most important partners and briefly describe their role.

In August every year, the Minister for Transport, Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána (Irish Police) advise drivers to take extra care when using the roads when national and secondary schools have reopened. A photo call takes place with the Minister, RSA and Irish people and is circulated to the media together with the press release which quotes from all partners. The media are also invited to the photo call to ensure the campaign gets as much exposure as possible.


Please briefly explain why your initiative is a good example of improving road safety.

We are targetting all road users with this campaign. There is an increase in the number of school buses on the road and drivers need to slow down, and stop if necessary, when buses are pulling in to pick up or drop children off. Drivers need to slow down in the vicinity of schools and obey the instructions of school wardens, who they may not be used to seeing on the road.

One local project that is using ‘active modes’ of transport to get children to school is the ‘Galway Cycle Bus’, Knocknacarrra, Co. Galway. The ‘Galway Cycle Bus’ project won an RSA Leading Light in Road Safety Award for Sustainable Travel in 2019 for their innovative and sustainable way of getting to school. The Galway Cycle Bus operates two routes with separate starting points and several intermediate stops where children and parents can join the cycling bus and cycle safely in convoy, before reaching their final destinations at Gaelscoil Mhic Amhlaigh and Knocknacarra National School. We promote these initiatives as part of our Back to School campaign to make the public aware of activities that can take place to get children to school safely.

When schools reopen it is vitally important that we look out for our children on the roads. As we are encouraging children to walk or cycle to school where possible, an increase in young cyclists and pedestrians on the roads is to be expected. Drivers need to adjust both their mindset and driving behaviour accordingly.

We also ask parents to remind their children to take care on the journey to and from school. All drivers should ensure children are properly restrained by either wearing a seatbelt or using the appropriate child car seat. We remind all parents dropping children off at school to do it safely, park safely, do not double park, do not park in cycle lanes and do not allow children to alight from a vehicle while in traffic. It is important that areas around schools are safe for all children.