Kildare Town School Warden, Pat Quirke
Kildare's school wardens are using this week’s Road Safety Week to highlight the dangers which drivers pose to school children and school wardens.
There are 28 adult school wardens and 60 junior wardens in County Kildare, or as they are known locally as the Lollipop People, and their job is to stop and hold traffic in order that school children can cross the road safely.
Kildare County Council’s Road Safety, Cycling and Sustainable Transport Officer, Declan Keogh said that on many occasions however, their job is challenged as some drivers fail to stop for the warden, and in some cases, they drive through the crossing while the warden is on the middle of the road guiding children across.
The local School Wardens for St. Brigid’s Post Primary in Kildare Town is Pat Quirke said; “Most driver are tuned into their responsibilities when approaching the school crossing, but there are some who are not and they’re the ones who put children at risk. My appeal to parents and drivers is to approach the school with care and be observant, watch out for children and what I am about to do, expect to be stopped to allow kids cross the road.”
Sallins school warden, Geradline Eaton
Sallins School Warden Geraldine Eaton covers Scoil Lorcain.
She said; “Parking around the school is very problematic, and on wet days this gets worse, and this can cause a problem for me as I try cross the children because my vision of the road may be blocked or the crossing itself might be blocked by a vehicle. My appeal is that drivers would park away from the school crossing, allow the children the luxury of crossing the road safely, and that may sound extreme, but it is luxury to be able to cross the road safely, and it shouldn’t be really.”
Mr Keogh is responsible for the management, training, supervision and health and safety of all the wardens in Kildare.
He said; “School Wardens are empowered under Section 96 of the 1961 Road Traffic Act to stop traffic to allow children cross the road. Drivers who fail to stop for a school warden run the risk of receiving between 2 and 5 penalty points and a hefty fine, but that’s not the biggest cost, the worst-case scenario is that by not stopping for a school warden, a driver could cost someone their life. We’re asking all drivers to be more aware of their surrounding at schools and to obey the instruction of a School Warden and remember, Stop means STOP.”