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Road Safety Officers welcome announcement to increase fines for ignoring school warden signals

There are currently over 400 School Wardens employed by local authorities across Ireland. Their role is to stop traffic in order to assist primary school children across a road safely.

Yesterday, Tuesday 23rd August, Minister of State at the Department of Transport,

Waterford Road Safety Officer Jemma Jacob and Kildare Road Safety Officer Declan Keogh with School Wardens Gemma Power and Maria Roche at the Road Safety & Cycle training park in Dungarvan, Co. Waterford.

Ms Hildegarde Naughton has announced plans to double the fine for motorists who fail to stop for a school warden sign. This will see fines increase from €80 to €160.

LARSO, the Local Authority Road Safety Officers network has welcomed this announcement and hopes the increase in fines will deter drivers from engaging in inappropriate and dangerous driver behaviour at school warden crossings.

Representing LARSO, Kildare County Council’s Road Safety Officer, Declan Keogh, said “School Wardens play an important role in the community and provide a life-saving role for primary school students. Every effort needs to be made to assist our wardens in their role and to eliminate the risks posed by some drivers at school crossings. Drivers should realise they are required, by law, to stop for a school warden sign when directed to do so. Failing to stop for a school warden sign puts the warden, school children and other pedestrians in danger. LARSO welcomes Minister Naughton’s announcement to double fines for failing to stop for a school warden sign”.

School Wardens, or as they are affectionately known to school children as the ‘Lollipop Person’, will return for duty when the new school term begins next week. Drivers are being reminded of the extra pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicle traffic on school routes in addition to other modes of transport such as scooters, Cycle Buses and Walking Buses. Drivers should observe and obey the instructions of a school warden and allow plenty of room at school crossings for pedestrians to cross the road.

Waterford City and County Council’s Road Safety Officer Jemma Jacob said “With the return of schools our roads are going to become very busy so be patient. Park away from the school – a little walk is good in the mornings!  Please support your local school warden crossing service. They are there to provide a safe crossing area for all school children. Please slow down when approaching a patrol and remember that a child struck at 20kph will mostly survive but at 40kph they will almost certainly die.

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