Mayo pupils will learn about school bus safety at Bonniconlon and Claremorris shows

A customised school bus operating as a mini-cinema is to visit County Mayo in August to spread the school transport safety message to local children.

As part of a nationwide tour, the 2009 Bus Éireann School Transport Summer Safety Roadshow will visit the Claremorris Show on Saturday, August 1 and Sunday, August 2, and the Bonniconlon Show, Ballina on Monday, August 3 2009.

The Bus Éireann School Transport Summer Safety Roadshow is designed to educate parents and children in a fun way on the importance of children “belting up safely” while travelling.

Parents and children will be invited on board a customised school bus to watch an entertaining DVD featuring RTÉ star Dustin the Turkey. The 15-minute DVD features Dustin with a host of schoolchildren and stresses the dos and donts of school bus safety, emphasising in particular the importance of wearing your seat belt. The DVD has already been sent to every primary and second level school in the country. Children will also be invited to take part in art competitions and there will be prizes, giveaways and promotions. Bus Éireann school bus drivers, inspectors and local school transport staff will crew the bus at each location and will answer queries parents may have about best safety practice relating to school transport and planning school transport for their children.

The campaign is also aimed at advising parents on how to enhance the safety of their children prior to boarding and after alighting from the school bus. Statistically speaking, the majority of accidents involving school children do not take place on board the school bus, which is one of the safest ways for children to travel to and from school. Statistically accidents are far more likely to occur when the children are en route to catch the bus (often prior to boarding ) or once they alight from the vehicle (on completion of the journey ). The ‘before’ and ‘after’ elements of the journey are the most hazardous. This is also borne out by international experience.

Bus Éireann spokesman Andrew McLindon said: “The Bus Éireann School Transport Summer Safety Roadshow is a summer long campaign aimed at promoting the school bus safety message and encouraging children to “belt up safely” whilst travelling. Visiting these popular shows in Mayo will provide us with an excellent opportunity to communicate to parents and children that wearing a seatbelt on the school bus is vital for safety, while also assisting parents with any questions they may have. The roadshow builds on several other successful TV, radio and DVD campaigns to urge students to belt up safely.”

The 2009 Bus Éireann School Transport Summer Safety Roadshow will visit over 20 agricultural shows taking place in towns and villages around the country.

Bus Éireann operates the School Transport Scheme on behalf of the Department of Education and Science. Bus Éireann currently transports thousands of Mayo based primary and post-primary school children to and from school each year under the School Transport Scheme.


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