Cycle Helmet Campaign Launched by A-CEART

10:45 Wednesday 5th of October 2016By Sean MurphyA high profile road safety campaigner is launching a new national drivefor larger schools lockers so children will wear lifesaving safetyhelmets.If successful, it could result in the biggest shake-up in school cyclingsafety in years.Mary Clinton of A-CEART is exclusively announcing her campaign inthe Inish Times today before taking it nationwide.She is set to lobby the Education Minister Richard Bruton and the RoadSafety Authority after schoolchildren’s parents petitioned her to warnthat kids are not wearing helmets because their lockers are not bigenough to store the safety headgear away from thieves.Schools in Inishowen, Donegal, and across the country have admitted tothe mother-of-four, from Letterkenny, that their lockers are too small.Bicycle helmets for 15 year olds measure a standard 32.5cm in length,but some schools say their lockers have only 31cm depth – meaning thehelmets do not fit.A-CEART campaigner Mary, who set up her group in 2004, followingseveral road deaths in Inishowen, is now seeking urgent meetings withMinister Bruton.She told the Inish Times: “This is a national issue.“The aim is for all school lockers’ minimum size – the one that fitsbicycle helmets – to be the regulation size, so all school lockers canaccommodate these safety helmets.“Otherwise, what’s the point in encouraging children to cycle to schoolif you are not going to allow then to do it safely?“I was made aware of the problem in schools in Dublin, firstly, so Icontacted schools in Inishowen and Donegal.“I have had responses from several, including Buncrana andCarndonagh.“I want to meet with the Department of Education and the Road SafetyAuthority about this.“Manufactures of school lockers have told me that the standardcloakroom lockers are not large enough.“They recommend a locker called a twin-two-person locker and theyhave sent me examples of these. It would be used by two pupils.“The costs are as yet unknown, but the manufacturers would negotiatethis with the Department.“This is a hugely important issue. Calls to make bicycle helmetscompulsory have been made in the Dail at least 14 times in the last 15years.”For the full story, see this week's Inish Times