The latest edition of Northern Ireland’s long-established road safety calendar is in the process of being distributed to primary schools and nurseries across the country.
The calendar, which was first published in 1972 and is now in its 44th year, is distributed free of charge to all primary and nursery classes in Northern Ireland.
The 2017 calendar was launched by Chris Hazzard and Peter Weir, Northern Ireland’s infrastructure and education ministers respectively, at Forge Integrated Primary School in Belfast.
There are three separate versions of the calendar to suit the different stages of development and understanding of nursery and primary school children.
With the onset of shorter daylight hours, the calendar asks drivers to watch out for children walking or cycling, and to take extra care around school buses.
It also includes information about child car seats and a reminder that when travelling by bus seat belts should always be worn when available.
Chris Hazzard, infrastructure minister, said: “The annual road safety calendar offers an excellent classroom teaching tool to help influence attitudes and behaviours towards road safety from a very early age. It has helped generations of children stay safe on our roads.
“Each page of the calendar has an important road safety message specially developed for children. The potentially lifesaving messages are presented in an engaging and memorable manner and I am confident they will continue to help form responsible road behaviour.”
Peter Weir, education minister, added: “Educating children from an early age is essential to help them develop the skills they need to stay safe. It is essential that all pupils develop positive behaviours when travelling to school.
“I would remind pupils of the importance of staying alert around buses particularly when boarding and alighting from the vehicle, and to ensure that where available, seatbelts are worn at all times.”