The Road Safety Authority has urged parents, guardians and teachers to make road safety a priority, as children prepare for the new school term.

Launching its "Back to School" campaign, the RSA warned of a significant rise in road fatalities involving children under the age of 14.

The number of child fatalities on Irish roads decreased by almost 90% between 1997 and 2012.

However, that positive trend has been reversed over the past two years.

In the past seven months, 13 children have died in road crashes.

Six were pedestrians, six were passengers, and one was involved in a quad-bike accident.

The number of fatalities has increased significantly since last year, when seven children were killed on the roads.

The RSA described the situation as "alarming".

It is distributing more than 300,000 high-visibility vests to pupils starting the new school term this week.