LEARNER drivers can now study the Highway Code in Irish.
Environment Minister Alex Attwood has officially launched an online Irish language version of the Highway Code (Tuesday 25 September), and this latest translation joins a list of five alternative languages available online including Lithuanian, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese and Russian.
Launching the Irish version of the Highway Code at Coláiste Feirste Irish-medium School, Minister Attwood said: “The Highway Code is a valuable teaching resource that I believe every young person should benefit from as part of their educational journey.
“Today is about providing the pupils at Coláiste Feirste and indeed all Irish speakers with a teaching resource that has been helping to save lives since it was first published over 75 years ago. The Highway Code is the bible for road safety and it is imperative that we get the message across to all our citizens including new immigrants to our shores and the indigenous Irish speaking population.
“I particularly welcome Coláiste Feirste’s decision to introduce the GCSE in Motor Vehicle and Road User Studies (MVRUS) to its school curriculum. I encourage all schools to do that. The Highway Code is obviously an integral part of the syllabus. I know this translation will be a great support for pupils in doing GCSEs but also when they start getting behind the wheel.”
The Minister also reminded young people about other measures he is planning to introduce – all aimed at reducing the risk of new drivers being involved in collisions once they have started to drive on their own.
He added: “Radical action is needed to regulate the learning process and to protect new drivers while they gain experience. The initiatives which I plan to introduce – Graduated Driver Licensing and a new stringent drink drive limit for young and inexperienced drivers – will complement each other and work together in addressing the different aspects of risk associated with young and other new drivers.
“Now is the time to take the right steps to help new drivers become safe drivers for life. Making the Highway Code accessible online for the young people in this school is an important step in that journey.”
In determining whether to provide a publication, including the Highway Code, in an alternative language, the Department will consider a range of factors including the size of resident population, the number of requests for a specific version and whether schools deliver the core curriculum through a particular medium. If there should be a demand for an Ulster-Scots translation of the Highway Code, all of these factors would be considered in line with the audit requirements applied to the development of any new initiative. To date, there have been no approaches to the Department.
The Irish language version of the Highway Code for Northern Ireland is available on the nidirect website and can be accessed via the following link: http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/highway-code-irish.pdf
PDFs can be downloaded to Kindles or other devices with an ebook application as a handy searchable reference.