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P7 pupils invited to stop, look and listen for road safety competition

Infrastructure minister Chris Hazzard and Megan McKeown launch the NI Primary School Road Safety Quiz. They are joined by Joan Kinnaird, pictured left, from event organisers Road Safe NI and Jonathan McKeown, pictured right, from sponsors CRASH Services

CHILDREN of primary school age are among the most vulnerable groups who use our roads, so anything which helps promote their safety deserves support, writes William Scholes.

The annual Northern Ireland Road Safety Quiz is one such initiative, which for more than 20 years has been testing school teams of P7 children on their road safety and general knowledge, including the meanings of different road signs.

The 2017 competition starts in January, with two teams from each of 11 regions - the quiz runs in each council area - progressing to the final in Belfast, which is held at the NI Fire & Rescue Training Centre in Belfast on February 20.

Thanks to a road safety grant from the Department for Infrastructure, it is the first time that each of the 11 new council areas will be represented in the competition.

The quiz is organised by road safety charity Road Safe NI and prizes are given to the first, second and third placed teams in the regional rounds. Everyone involved gets to take home a certificate and each school can enter a team of four P7 pupils.

"Road traffic collisions and their devastating consequences hit right at the core of our communities," said infrastructure minister Chris Hazzard, who encouraged as many school as possible to enter the competition.

"Together we have made enormous strides in road safety. Over time, many lives have been saved from death and serious injury by road users making the right choices on the road.

"Educating children and influencing attitudes and behaviours towards road safety is vital; and the first step towards achieving this is to instil good road user attitudes and behaviours in our children.

"What is learnt and put into practice at a young age forms the basis of behaviour in later life."

Jonathan McKeown from sponsors CRASH Services said: "As a local business with close connections to road users we are delighted to get involved and support road safety projects like this.

"We look forward to supporting similar events to help raise road safety awareness in the future."

:: Email info@roadsafeni.com for details of each heat and to obtain an entry form for your school.

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