With parents and children back to school, the Road Safety Authority 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.
RSA chairman Gay Byrne 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.
“Over the past two years many teachers have got in touch with us to tell us they still use the song in class to teach their pupils safe road-user habits. 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:
– An activity based resources pack on Road Safety, Fire Safety and Water Safety;
- A parents’ 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 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 children starting school for the first time.
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.”
The Road Safety Authority provides the following ‘back to school’ advice for parents and children.
Travelling by car
• All children should be restrained when travelling in a car.
• Select a restraint that is based on your child’s weight and height and is suitable for the type of car.
• Remember it’s safer if children travel in the rear of a car.
• Never leave children alone in a car.
Walking to school
• Small children should not cross roads alone. They cannot decide how far away a car is or how fast it is going.
• Walk the route to school with them in advance.
• Children walking on country roads should wear reflective armbands and bright clothing.
• If there is no footpath, walk on the right-hand side of the road facing oncoming traffic keeping as close as possible to the side of the road.
• Show your child how to cross the road by example. Choose safe places to cross and take time to explain why i.e. footbridges, zebra or pelican crossings, lollipop lady/man or junior school warden patrol.
Travelling by bus
• Teach children to take special care getting on or off a bus.
• Children should stand well in off the road while waiting for a bus.
• Before crossing the road they should wait until the bus has moved off and they can see clearly in both directions.
• If safety belts are fitted, they must be worn
• Make sure they are highly visible by wearing a reflective belt and bright clothes and wear a bicycle safety helmet on all journeys.
• Check that the bicycle’s brakes, lights, reflector and bell are in good working order.