This week children from all over the county returned to school and local TD has urged motorists to slow down near schools. ‘Since the introduction of metric speed limits, the speed limits outside some of our schools have increased by two mph to 62 mph (100 km/h) making it perfectly legal for motorists to zoom by these schools at speeds of 100 kph. At speeds of 100 kph, however, collisions with pedestrians are invariably fatal,’ stated Deputy Naughten. ‘Ireland already has the highest child fatality record in Western Europe with over 250 children killed or injured while walking on our roads annually. ‘The results of a 20 mph (30 km/h) speed reduction initiative in Scotland showed a 60 percent reduction in the number of recorded accidents after the introduction of the scheme, with child pedestrian accidents falling by 70 percent. A reduction of 70 percent in children pedestrian accidents in this country would mean that 175 less children would suffer injury or death on our roads this year. ‘Speed limits outside schools can and should be reduced, but a lack of funding from the Department of Transport has delayed the introduction of such a safety measure. Inappropriate speeding is the cause of a quarter of all road crashes on Irish roads. Inappropriate speeding is travelling at a legalised 100km/h in the vicinity of schools. I am appealing to motorists to use their common sense and reduce their speeds when approaching schools,’ concluded Deputy Naughten.