Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Ballybay (Monaghan) Pedestrian Crossing.


asked the Minister for the Environment if he is aware of the proposal to train school children to replace attendants at the pedestrian crossing outside the national school in Ballybay, County Monaghan, and at the same time to dispense with that crossing; and whether, in the interests of safety, he will take steps to have both proposals dropped.

The appointment of school wardens, including junior school wardens — that is, i.e. pupils of a school trained to operate a junior warden service — is a matter for the local authority to arrange under section 96 of the Road Traffic Act, 1961, subject to the formal consent of the Garda Commissioner.

As regards the junior school warden service itself, some 40 schemes are at present in operation in 19 counties. There are particulars of the system in the current Rules of the Road booklet and additional information may be had from the National Road Safety Association, by whom the system is promoted and monitored. I understand that these schemes are strictly limited to locations which the local authority judge to be suitable by reference, inter alia, to road and traffic conditions and are developed and operated in accordance with specific guidelines laid down by the National Road Safety Association. I am satisfied that, where the circumstances are appropriate, the introduction of a junior warden service provides not only a safe crossing facility in the vicinity of the school concerned, but also valuable training in civic responsibility generally and road safety in particular for the children who act as junior wardens.