As parents and children across the country prepare for the beginning of the school year, the Road Safety Authority (RSA ) has re-introduced the ‘Safe Cross Code’ song as part of a package of road safety measures aimed at primary school children. The song, written by Chris Darby, has been re-recorded for the new generation of road-users and features showbiz legend Brendan Grace, who recorded the original song, and the pupils of Derrywash National School in Castlebar.
Mr Gay Byrne, Chairman of the RSA said, “The original Safe Cross Code song was a huge hit back in the 70s and was instrumental in teaching safe road-user habits to a generation of school goers. In fact, over the past two years, many teachers have got in touch with us to tell us that they still use the song in class to teach their pupils safe road-user habits. So given the fact that the song is as relevant today as it was back then, we felt it was time to bring it back and reintroduce it to a new generation of road-users.”
The ‘Safe Cross Code’ song is just one of a range of activities planned by the RSA as part of its Back to School campaign. The re-recorded version remains completely faithful to the original and singing with Brendan Grace are the pupils from Derrywash National School, Castlebar, Co Mayo who along with their principal Sharon Dunleavy, picked up a Leading Lights in Road Safety Award last year from the RSA for their recording of the song.
The RSA now plans to send a CD of the song, which has also been recorded in Irish for the first time, together with a special ‘Safe Cross Code’ song poster to every national school in the country in September as part of its Back to School road safety pack.
The Back to School pack which is being sent to every primary school will contain:
- Be Safe – An activity-based resources pack on road safety, fire safety, and water safety.
- Going to School leaflets for junior infants entering education. This is a parent’s guide to getting children to school safety.
- Safe Cross Code CD together with a poster with the words of the ‘Safe Cross Code’ song to be taught in the classroom.
- School News newsletter.
- Hi vis armbands – In partnership with the Department of Education a total of 65,000 high visibility arm bands will be given out free to every child starting school for the first time in September.
Chairman of the RSA Gay Byrne also urged parents to put road safety on their back to school checklist, “Consider including high visibility clothing, bicycle helmets, and other life saving road safety gear on your child’s back to school shopping lists and make sure they are street-wise about road safety before they go back to school.
“Demonstrate good road safety behaviour at all times as your child will learn from your example. So if your child walks or cycles to school, take them on the route in advance and make sure they know where they are going. If they travel by car or bus, make sure they know how important it is to put their safety belt on at all times,” he added.