New course to teach junior cycle pupils responsible road use
Children from the age of 13 will be taught how to be responsible on the country's roads as part of a new school programme.
The classes will target junior cycle students, aged 13 to 16, and form part of the Government's latest efforts to reduce the number of road deaths.
Three schools will pilot the Road Safety Short Course for Junior Cycle (SCJC) entitled 'Road Safety Matters' from next month. It will be available to all schools for the 2016-2017 academic year.
The course includes 25 road safety-specific science experiments incorporating elements of physics, biology and chemistry.
One example is 'Winter Driving', which will educate students on the merits of using salt on icy roads.
In this experiment they will investigate the properties of water and salt, demonstrate how salt affects the freezing point of water and investigate how - and understand why - salt can be both effective and ineffective when it is applied to icy roads.
The provisional review of road fatalities for 2015, which will be published today, shows that the biggest single reduction in road deaths in the past 12 months has been among the under-15s.
It follows an extremely bleak year in 2014 when the number of children killed on Irish roads trebled from five to 15.