Concerns for the safety of children whose school is on a busy road are being examined by Donegal County Council.
Officials are undertaking a road safety review following concerns being raised over several months by the school and local politicians.
They have proposed traffic wardens, speed ramps, and warning signs amid fears from the school that a child will be killed by speeding cars, following reports of motorists breaking red lights despite children crossing.
Concerns and fears were raised again this week at the monthly meeting of the council’s Letterkenny Municipal District.
Independent Cllr Dessie Shiels proposed a motion for urgent council action on the matter.
His motion requested: “That this council urgently review the situation as regards the necessity for the installation of improved speed reduction measures at Ballyraine National School, including speed ramps and warning signage to address the very serious concerns of parents regarding their children’s safety at the school.”
The council responded: “The Road Design Safety Team has conducted an investigation into the situation at Ballyraine NS and is finalising its report on recommendations appropriate to the location, which will be issued to the area roads team on completion to source funding for any identified proposed works.”
Letterkenny mayor, Fine Gael Cllr Jimmy Kavanagh, seconded Cllr Shiels’ motion.
Cllr Kavanagh last year revealed that the school wants “a warden for 15 minutes in the morning and again in the afternoon”.
Cllr Kavanagh said: “If adult drivers are breaking red lights, how can we ask children to take responsibility for safety at that crossing?”
The school then revealed that it was given video footage which allegedly showed a car driving through the traffic lights – even though the lights were red and a child was at the crossing.
An eye witness later claimed that she separately watched in shocked disbelief as another car failed to stop at the lights on the Ramelton Road that leads to Letterkenny town centre.
Cllr Shiels said this week: “I know quite a lot of parents at Ballraine NS and they are asking, ‘Can the council not do more?’
“There is a visual sign near the school to indicate traffic lights, but realistically we need [better] signs.”
He suggested staggered written signs.
Cllr Shiels explained: “I think written signs are proven to be much more effective. People take caution when they see written signs.”
He added: “There is no reason why there could not be a speed ramp. It doesn’t need to be high, just something that makes people slow down.”
If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Donegal Now editorial team. Between 9am and 5pm Monday to Sunday please call 074 9112712. Between 5pm and midnight please call or text 086 792 2103. Or you can email [email protected] at any time.