Many drivers fail to stop for school wardens

By Mary Dennehy

SOME 13 incidents at school crossings in South Dublin County were reported during the 2017/2018 school term – with incidents including collisions, near misses and drivers failing to stop for the warden.

School wardens play a valuable role in school life across local communities and in 2017/2018 helped more than 6,000 students and adults to safely cross roads in South Dublin County on a daily basis.

School crossing

However, despite the hard work of the wardens, incidents at school crossings are “quite high” due to some drivers failing to stop.

Over the entire 2017/2018 school term, some 13 incidents at crossings were reported to the council, which has 94 permanent crossings in South Dublin County.

According to Declan Keogh, the council’s Road Safety Officer: “The number of incidents occurring at school crossings is quite high, and although drivers are aware of the rules when approaching a school warden crossing, some drivers still fail to stop for the warden, which puts people at risk of being knocked down.”

The report compiled by the council also shows that weather conditions can dictate whether people walk or drive to school.

During wet conditions, the numbers of students walking to school dropped while the number of vehicles on the ‘school-run’ increased, which can have negative effects for local traffic and a knock-on effect on arterial routes.

Mr Keogh said: “The number of students crossing alone at school warden crossings is relatively high and those who are crossing with an adult is even higher again which is good, because the higher the number of students and adults walking to school means the number of people driving to school is reduced.”

While the school warden service has finished for the summer holidays, Mr Keogh said: “When the schools reopen in late August or September, drivers should bear this in mind and be aware of the extended journey times and the return of traffic congestion around schools and school crossings.”

Crossing counts were undertaken by South Dublin County Council over a six-week period between March and April of this year.

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