High Visibility Kids

bike safety1

After an exceptional summer, the nights have closed in ruthlessly and the word is this winter will be a brute. For local kids the evenings after school are still for playing, being out kicking a ball, or of course, riding their bikes, which is not without its dangers, as Fine Gael Councillor Paddy McCartan and Ringsend local Anthony Byrne are aware.

For a European city of its size, Dublin is richly provisioned with drivers. According to the Office of Central Statistics, 4,248 new privately-owned cars were licensed and registered in the county as of July 2013.

A core issue concerning the traffic levels in the city is safety. The Road Safety Authority (RSA) statistics for 2012 paints a relatively positive picture of road deaths in decline but the fact remains that 30% of road deaths are persons under the age of 25.

Cllr. Paddy McCartan and Anthony Byrne, a resident of the George Reynolds flats in Irishtown, have collaborated to raise awareness among the kids in the area of the dangers of recklessness on the roads. “Awareness really is the key idea we want to emphasise to the children,” Cllr. McCartan explained, “Be safe, be seen, as the slogan goes.”

Anthony assented, “I used to drive everywhere, now I cycle and I’m aware of the dangers myself.”

To this end, the councillor contacted the Road Safety Authority, who donated 30 hi-visibility jackets to be distributed for free to the neighbourhood children. Even without safety helmets, visibility makes a huge difference.

Concerning the need for helmets for the kids, Paddy explained that the RSA were not in a position to provide free headgear “but if this exercise works and the jackets catch on, we might seek out sponsorship by local businesses.”He requested that NewsFour readers who run local businesses might contact his office phone number 6609202 if they are interested in being sponsors.

Pictured above: Locals Claire, Christine, Anthony and Paddy Mc Cartan with some of the local kids from George Reynolds House.

By Rúairí Conneely