An annual road safety seminar held by Templemore Garda College has helped to educate over 1,000 Tipperary secondary school students since the road awareness program began in 2010.
Last week a record number of students visited the college for the inaugural road safety awareness day organised by Garda Regina McCarthy and Garda Anastasia Murphy from Thurles Traffic Corp and Garda Naoimh Dooley Cahir Traffic Corp.
“These students are the next generation of drivers so we are aiming to educate them as early as possible about the responsibilities of getting behind the wheel,” said Garda McCarthy. The programme initiative called “It won't happen to me” is hoping to create awareness among young drivers before they obtain their licence. Students attended multiple workshops and presentations throughout the day as well as taking part in a road traffic accident simulator organised by the RSA.
“We know programmes like these are working because of the encouraging feedback we are getting from the schools who take part. If we can educate the students before they get behind the wheel we can establish good behaviours on our roads,” added Garda McCarthy.
Also in attendance was road accident survivor and guest speaker Barry Murphy from Killenaule who has become a regular fixture at the seminar series after he was seriously injured in a car accident in late 2006. Barry was saved due to his seatbelt however he was forced to relearn how to walk, talk and undergoing multiple operations for his injuries which included a collapsed lung, fractures to his skull and arm, a broken hand, jaw and cheek bone. He has no memory of his life before the accident. Presentation Ballingarry students Caoimhe Ryan and Patrick Walton agreed that awareness days are extremely beneficial to young drivers adding that all schools should look at implementing specific road safety programmes into the Transition Year programme. “It would make a good core module for the year,” said Caoimhe.