The annual road safety calendar produced by the Department of the Environment in Northern Ireland (DOENI), now in its 43rd year, has been printed in preparation for the new school term.
There are three versions of the calendar, for early, middle and upper years, and every nursery and primary school classroom in Northern Ireland receives a copy.
All three calendars show age appropriate photographs and road safety messages with a discussion note for the teacher. All aspects of road safety are covered in a weekly message.
The calendar has recently been revamped with the addition of Hattie, a friend for the existing Northern Ireland road safety mascot Skooter.
The DOENi says a survey of schools has shown that ‘teachers and pupils make good use of the calendar and love the characters, local photographs and discussion notes’.
Pupils from Ballyhenry Primary School accompanied the environment minister, Mark H Durkan, to the print works on the outskirts of Belfast to see the calendar coming off the press.
Mr Durkan said: “Educating children and influencing attitudes and behaviours towards road safety is vital; and the first step towards achieving this is to instill good road user attitudes and behaviours in young people. What is learnt and put into practice at a young age forms the basis of behaviour in later life.
“The calendar is now in its 43rd year of production and during that time it has helped generations of children stay safe on our roads.
“As children turn the pages of the new calendar and read messages we hope that they will remember the importance of staying safe.”