Hundreds of schoolchildren will pedal their way through the streets of a Co. Mayo town later this month in a novel road safety campaign.
Specially-trained garda cyclists will pass on road safety skills that could help to keep the children save and alive on the nation's roads.
Each team will be accompanied by a judge at the event on Wednesday 30th May 2012 , and tested on a wide range of cycling abilities, as part of an initiative by Mayo County Council's Road Safety Officer Noel Gibbons. "It is crucial that people learn how to cycle safely on our roads from a young age, and we aim to show them some of the key aspects of road safety," said Mr Gibbons.
Miss Eva Gannon Green Schools Travel Education Officer, An Taisce stressed the importance of cycling safely: "Cyclists don't have steel armour round them like drivers do, but when cyclists receive cycle training there is no smarter form of travel than the bike."
The teams will consist of three students over the age of ten. Complete with bicycle and helmet, they will manoeuvre their way through the traffic and utilise the lessons they have learned during cycling proficiency courses in their schools over the past year.
‘'This great competition gets children to think about their own welfare when cycling. And getting children to be aware of safety issues will help improve the image of cycling - and so increase its popularity, during the competition the children learn vital lessons on how to cycle in a safe and responsible manner. I hope that this competition spurs on more children to get on their bike and get active'' said Garda Sergeant Donie Duignan, Divisional Traffic Corps, Castlebar.
This event is been organised in association with an Gardai Siochana, RSA, Mayo Civil defence, Castlebar Order of Malta, Mayo education Centre, Bus Eireann and Mayo County Council road safety. All participants will receive a certificate of completion, and the overall winning school will receive the perpetual trophy, and the first, second and third placed teams will receive trophies. The event will start at the car park at the rear of the Mayo education centre and all teams are requested to be at the centre before 10 am so the event can be finished by 1pm.