As new school and college terms begin, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) is urging parents and road users to anticipate heavier traffic.
Assistant chief constable Alan Todd, PSNI, said: “Over the summer months, many of us have benefitted from lower levels of traffic and shorter journey times.
“As the new academic term begins, it is essential that all road users remain focused on their driving, plan their journey and leave plenty of time as there will be delays.
“Most importantly, drivers should keep an eye out for children and young people on bicycles or on foot, particularly when close to schools, junctions and at bus stops.
“Parents should ensure that high visibility clothing and bags are worn and carried by children and that road safety instruction is given, in particular, how to cross the road safely – looking both ways without being distracted by friends, mobile phones or music players.
”They should also be aware that it’s better to miss the bus and be late as opposed to taking their chances by running across roads to catch a bus.”
ACC Todd also appealed for parents on the school run to slow down and stay well within the speed limits, and ensure that children travelling to school in cars are properly restrained.
He said: “In a crash at just 30mph, an unrestrained child can be thrown forward with a force 30 to 60 times their body weight. This means that they would be thrown about inside the vehicle, injuring them and quite possibly seriously injuring or even killing other passengers. They are also likely to be ejected from the car through one of the windows.”