South East Regional College Downpatrick Hosts Road Safety Initiative
As part of this year’s Road Safety Week, the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS), in partnership with Downpatrick, Rowallane & Slieve Croob District Electoral Areas, the PSNI, and the Policing & Community Safety Partnership, hosted a Road Safety initiative in the South East Regional College in Downpatrick. This year’s Road Safety Week is taking place between 19 and 25 November.
For the first time in the Downpatrick area the Evo Simulator Vehicle was in the grounds of the college, employing virtual reality technology to educate the participants on the dangers on the roads. Young people had the opportunity to sit in a driving simulator which highlighted road dangers and how easy it is to ‘lose control’ as well as taking part in a number of safety initiatives, including the NIFRS ‘Your Choice’ Programme, aimed at 16-24 year olds.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairman, Councillor Mark Murnin said, “This is an excellent initiative for the young people of this area to help them understand the dangers they can experience when driving. I would like to thank the local SERC for agreeing to host such a worthwhile programme and all the agencies that have worked together to make it happen.
“We are all too aware of the awful consequences that road collisions can have, not just on those involved in a road traffic incident but also on their families and it is vital that we do everything we can to prevent these situations from occurring.”
Alan Walmsely, Assistant Chief Fire & Rescue Officer said, “The technology that we use in these demonstrations allows young people to wear a headset and experience the stark reality of being trapped in a vehicle.
“As a front seat passenger in the virtual world, they become part of a crash scene and experience the dramatic sights and sounds of emergency services arriving on the scene and the resulting rescue and removal of casualties. It is uncompromisingly direct and honest and a reminder to young people that they have a choice to decide what kind of road user they and their passengers will be. Those decisions are vital to their safety and the safety of the other road users.
“Sadly, 16-24 year olds continue to be over represented in the statistics for those killed or seriously injured on our roads. In the last year alone, fire fighters attended 790 road traffic collisions, rescuing 536 people trapped in vehicles. Along with other emergency services we witness all too often the carnage on our roads and the lives that are completely destroyed.”
The young people were also shown a real live car cut out by the NIFRS with some of them participating as the casualties in the accident. The PSNI were also on hand to demonstrate their role in accidents of this type.Back