Schooled on bike penalty points

A Meath garda was so fed-up of receiving public complaints about children on bicycles, she decided to dole out penalty points to the young cyclists.

Community Garda Ashling Connor introduced the points system as part of her own safer cycling scheme.

Under the programme, children from fourth class upwards receive their own driving licence and registration plate for the bike but they face penalty points if they do not follow three golden rules.

“If they don’t wear a helmet, follow the Safe Cross Code, and dismount from their bikes before entering school grounds, they get a penalty point,” explained Garda Connor.

“The cyclists are scrutinised by the bike police, which are chosen school pupils, and any child that breaks the rules gets a penalty point. This means they don’t get a reward at the end of the year, so you can imagine they take it very seriously. It’s very much the children’s own scheme now — it’s their baby.”

More than 300 pupils have completed the programme since it was introduced at Ratoath NS and St Paul’s NS in Ratoath last year. It is set to be extended to schools in Ashbourne in the future.


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