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Written Answers - Road Safety

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 765 No. 3

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 538.  Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy Information on Marcella Corcoran Kennedy Zoom on Marcella Corcoran Kennedy  asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar  his views on proposals to include road safety on the reformed Junior Certificate Cycle. [23802/12]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar In the first instance, the Junior Certificate is a matter for the Minister for Education and Skills and the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment. However, I believe that the reformed Junior Certificate, and the proposed short courses in particular, offer significant opportunities for important cross subject learning. Education in the area of road safety is one such possibility. The Road Safety Authority’s current approach to road safety education is to deliver road user education in a cumulative, age appropriate approach commencing in preschool settings, through to third level and on into community settings. Road safety education ensures all road users develop appropriate attitudes and safe behaviours. The Authority’s road safety educational programmes are not currently compulsory but are aligned with the relevant curriculum strands in each educational setting.

Whilst we have made significant progress in relation to road safety in recent years, we need to continue to focus on ways of making our roads safer. A key factor in road safety is driver behaviour and education clearly has an important role in influencing the behaviour of existing and future drivers. The proposed development of the Junior Cycle Programme presents opportunities for the Road Safety Authority to further develop its existing road safety programme ‘Streetwise’. This Programme could be developed to take advantage of the proposed short courses (100 hours) or integrated into the Priority Learning Units outlined in the ‘Towards a Framework for the Junior Cycle: Proposals for Junior Cycle Development’ document. I am continuing to engage with Minister Quinn with a view to progressing this matter, and will keep the House advised of such progress.

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