Failing to stop at a school warden sign will result in a double fine, the Minister of State at the Department of Transport announced on Tuesday.
The fine will increase from €80 to €160 as the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána call on drivers to watch out for children as they return to school.
The appeal to share the roads safely with returning students was made at the opening of the RSA’s new online Learning Portal, a 3D road safety adventure ahead of the new school year.
The online learning portal is aimed at educating primary and secondary school students on road safety in an interactive and safe learning environment, accessible in the classroom and at home.
The new virtual space showcases road safety topics including the Safe Cross Code, seatbelts, distracted driving, the consequences of drink or drug driving, and speeding.
Speaking at the event at St Louis’ Senior School, Rathmines, Dublin on Tuesday, Minister Hildegarde Naughton said she anticipated the new fine would be in place in “the very near future”.
“School wardens are vulnerable road workers. Their job is to keep children safe. But to do this they put themselves at risk every time they step onto the road,” she said.
“They work on all sorts of roads from national routes to small local roads and at times of the day that sees the heaviest traffic. They deserve our respect and a safe working environment. Slow down when in the vicinity of schools, watch out for children and school wardens. Most importantly, always heed their directions to stop.”
Sam Waide, chief executive of the RSA said the aim with the new online virtual experience was “to instil good road safety habits and knowledge at an early age, for life learning.”
“I also want to remind school principals and staff of our guidelines for improving road safety around schools. The guidelines will aid them in the development and implementation of a road safety action plan to identify and manage risk at the school’s entrance. The guidelines are available on RSA.ie,” he said.
Drivers are being reminded that there will be a significant increase in school-going traffic in the coming days. They should also expect to see a rise in the number of children using ‘active modes’ of transport such as cycling, walking or scooting to get to school.
To date in 2022, a total of 105 people have died on Irish roads, 17 more than the same period in 2021.