Frank Fitzgerald representing Beaumont Boys and Girls School Parents Association who won the Sustainable Travel category with RSA Chief Executive Sam Waide.

Cork schools wins road safety award

The parents’ association for a pair of Cork city schools has received an award in recognition of its efforts to encourage pupils to walk and cycle to school.

Beaumont Boys and Girls School Parents Association took home the Sustainable Travel award at the 13th annual Leading Lights in Road Safety Awards event presented by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) in Croke Park in December.

The Beaumont Girls’ National School and Scoil Barra Naofa Buachaillí are 2 schools on the same campus in Cork city.

The parents’ associations set about encouraging parents to park in an alternative location and allowing their children to walk to school.

Following the success of this first step, they then introduced a cycle bus to further encourage parents and children to use alternative and more sustainable modes of transport to travel to school. They also successfully lobbied for the installation of bike parking around their school.

By working with the residents’ association, the schools and the local authority, it was also agreed that the road outside the school would be closed to vehicular traffic during school drop-off and pick-up times, thus making the school gate a much safer place for children to walk and cycle to school.

Commenting on the project, judges said: “Beaumont School really showed how parents, teachers, pupils, local authorities, residents associations and other community groups can all work together to achieve their road safety goals. They set about introducing measures that not only help keep people safe but also increases the use of sustainable transport modes across the entire school population.”

There was another Cork winner at the event with East Cork Rapid Response (ECRR) taking home the Emergency Services award.

The ECRR is a voluntary organisation that assists the National Ambulance Service by providing advanced skills and knowledge at the site of an incident within East Cork and Cork city, bringing the resuscitation room to the roadside. The volunteers respond to an average of 9 calls a month with calls ranging from cardiac arrests, to falls, seizures, or trauma, with road traffic incidents being the second most common reason for a call out. The ECRR committee dedicates more than 200 collective voluntary hours to ensure that the service is run professionally.

A total of 18 awards were presented by the RSA to individuals and organisations in recognition of their commitment and dedication to road safety.