A county council official has confirmed that motorists must heed the pedestrian crossing outside a national school in Castlebar following safety concerns raised by parents of children attending the school.
Shane McDonnell, a Mayo County Council engineer in Castlebar, stated that the pedestrian crossing installed on Chapel Street outside St Patrick's Boys National School last year is an “official controlled crossing with flashing lights”.
“The orange globe lights are continuously flashing 24 hours a day and motorists must check if anybody is about to cross, and if so, they must stop. There is a stop line in front of the crossing where motorists must stop. Once a pedestrian has a foot on the crossing, motorists must wait until the crossing is clear before proceeding. If another pedestrian comes to cross from the other side, the motorist must also wait until it is clear. These are the rules of the road.
“This crossing is an official controlled crossing. There are two types - flashing lights or press button traffic lights. The orange globe lights were erected pretty high up for all to see well in advance.”
A number of parents contacted the Mayo Advertiser to report that motorists were driving straight through the crossing on Chapel Street without stopping, raising fears for the safety of children at the school.
One parent issued an appeal as follows: “As parents we are responsible for the safety and wellbeing of our children and we teach them the Safe Cross Code - yet we cannot keep them safe at road crossings because those adults who were ‘responsible’ enough to get a driving licence pay no heed to the rules of the road. Please drivers, help parents protect their children.”