STUDENTS from Banbridge District attended an eye-opening event recently to alert them to the risks they take by driving dangerously.
The PSNI’s hard-hitting Roadsafe Roadshow played to students in an effort to urge young drivers to take more care and responsibility on the roads.
Pupils from Banbridge Academy, Banbridge High School, Dromore High School, Newbridge Integrated College, Rathfriland High School, Southern Regional College and St Patrick’s College attended the event.
Supported by AXA Insurance, Amey and Banbridge DPP, the award winning “It Could be You” Roadshow, was seen by more than 1,400 students during the event at Banbridge Leisure Centre.
Recognising that many people under 25 years of age are killed or injured on our roads, the Roadshow aimed to positively influence those drivers who are about to start out on what will hopefully be a long and safe motoring career.
Road Policing Constable Bill Holden said he believes that one of the key areas in reducing the number of deaths and serious injuries on the roads among the youth population is education.
“We are extremely pleased that schools from across the area are firmly on board with the roadshow concept. It is only through educating our young people about the dangers that motorists can face on the roads that we can make a difference.”
The Roadshow, which so far has been seen by almost 90,000 teenagers across Northern Ireland, graphically depicts how a night out can end in tragedy and permanent disability.
The story is told by a police officer, a paramedic, a fire officer, an accident and emergency consultant, a representative of a victim support group and the real life story of a young woman, who was paralysed following a horrific collision.
The narrative is interspersed with music, video clips and television and cinema advertisements.
Constable Holden said, “I have no doubt that those who attend the Roadshow are shocked, perhaps even horrified, by what they see. We make no apology for that.
“We believe that showing realistically what happens on our roads has a strong impact on the students who attend. I hope that after seeing the Roadshow they realise that they are not indestructible; that they are more vulnerable on the roads and that they must respect the roads and other users.”
Councillor Seamus Doyle, Chairman of Banbridge District Policing Partnership, said, “Banbridge DPP is delighted once again to sponsor the Roadsafe Roadshow and therefore facilitate two events and give over 1,400 local young drivers access to this powerful production. Whilst reducing the number of people who are killed and seriously injured on our roads is always likely to remain a key local policing target, the impact on a family, friends and community of the loss of a young person through a driving-related incident cannot be measured by targets.
“The DPP has worked with the post-primary schools in the District and the Southern Regional College to ensure maximum attendance by the target audience, and we hope to provide some follow-up workshops in the autumn to reinforce the message with new and soon to be young drivers that your life and the lives of your passengers can depend on being road safe.”