herald

Saturday 19 August 2017

Students' hi-vis answer to road dangers

Gormanston College in Co Meath is planning to become the first school in the country to incorporate high visibility material into their uniforms
Gormanston College in Co Meath is planning to become the first school in the country to incorporate high visibility material into their uniforms

Children will have hi-vis material incorporated into their school uniforms as part of a safety campaign.

Dermot Lavin, the principal of Gormanston College in Co Meath, said the aim was to keep students safe on nearby roads, which have no footpaths or street lights.

Mr Lavin said there had been "a number of potential near misses when it was dark".

Transition year students yesterday launched their road safety awareness campaign targeting the use of high-visibility material, and there are calls for it to be replicated nationwide.

There are 305 pupils at the school, and 120 first-years are enrolled for next September.

"This will mean many more students walking to school and using public transport to get here," Mr Lavin said.

"The main road adjacent to the school does not have enough footpath and it has no street lighting so they are walking 600 metres on the public road."

The school has now given all students a high-visibility jacket to wear over their uniform on the way to and from school.

"We want to build into our school jacket some element of high visibility so our students are always safe," Mr Lavin added.

"We are hopeful the school will become a pilot school nationally for road safety."

The safety initiative has been welcomed by Michael Finnegan, the road safety officer for Meath.

"As far as I know, this is the first school or college in the country that has come up with this idea and I think it will be a success," he said.

"I would love to see it expanded countrywide that it would form part of the uniform because it can only add to safety."

hnews@herald.ie

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