Drivers will be seeing yellow — fluorescent yellow that is — so there will be no excuse for not seeing Mayo’s Junior School Wardens.
The new issue uniforms to Junior School Wardens is part of a major drive by the county council to keep children safe outside school gates. From the end of this month the patrols will wear fluorescent yellow instead of the traditional all white coats and a modern baseball cap.
The Junior School Warden service is designed to provide safe crossing facilities in the vicinity of primary schools in provincial towns and villages where a 50km/h speed limit applies adjacent to the school. The Junior School Warden scheme has been operating in Ireland since 1969. Its continued success is due to the dedication, hard work, and co-operation of all involved in its implementation, including Garda trainers, school principals, local authorities, and most importantly, the pupils themselves.
The new uniforms will help keep the hard working teams of wardens warm and dry throughout the year as they help hundreds of school children safely cross roads to and from school as well as improving the safety of the wardens by making them more visible to other road users.
Road safety officer for Mayo County Council, Noel Gibbons, has acknowledged the work done by the Junior School Wardens during the year.
“Each of these pupils is doing a superb job in ensuring that their fellow students are kept safe crossing our roads before and after school each day. We are aware of and very grateful for the excellent commitment given by each of these pupils and we hope that others can follow their example. We would like to see more schools getting involved in this scheme.”
If a school wishes to be assessed for suitability to partake in this scheme a written application must be submitted to the roads and transportation unit. On receipt of a request for the introduction of a Junior School Warden Scheme, a preliminary examination is carried out by the council's road safety officer, in consultation with the local area engineer, gardaí, and other engineering staff to assess traffic and safety factors. Agreement to the scheme is sought from the gardaí, area engineer, school management board, the school principal, and parents of the children involved. The council sponsors the scheme and provides the wardens' uniforms, road markings, signage, etc. Training is carried out by members of the gardaí and certificates are presented to the wardens on completion of training.