A hard-hitting road safety message is delivered to pupils

Banbridge Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) has obtained money from assets seized from criminals to deliver four special sessions for young drivers who live in the Banbridge district.

The ‘Enhanced YPAD’ events are specifically for students in Years 13 and 14, and will be based around a live extrication demonstration undertaken by the NI Fire and Rescue Service.

Speaking on behalf of Banbridge PCSP, the Vice-Chair Mr Jonathan Murphy, commented: “The PCSP has secured this additional funding to enable partners agencies to work together to show local young drivers first-hand what can be the result of apparently harmless distractions whilst driving – like looking at your mobile phone. A local team from the NI Fire and Rescue Service will be performing a live extrication of a casualty from a crashed car.

“The students will then have the opportunity to talk to officers from the NIFRS, the PSNI Road Policing and local neighbourhood officers about their personal experiences of dealing with serious and fatal road traffic collisions.”

He continued: “We greatly appreciate the co-operation of the schools in hosting the Enhanced YPAD events – New-Bridge Integrated College, Banbridge Academy and Dromore High School.

“The PCSP would encourage all young drivers to make an on-line pledge to the DOE Road to Zero campaign. We will also be working to secure funding for the Road Safe roadshow which is provisionally scheduled for the Banbridge District at the start of February 2015.”

Marty Thompson, Station Commander, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service said: “To date (January 24), eight people have now tragically lost their lives on Northern Ireland’s roads and firefighters have attended 57 road traffic collisions. Unfortunately we witness first-hand the carnage and devastation all too often on our roads caused by irresponsible road user behaviour such as speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, inattention or drink/drug driving. We want everyone to be safe when out and about on our roads and welcome the opportunity to engage with students from the Banbridge area.”

Sergeant Billy Stewart, PSNI, Banbridge Neighbourhood Policing Team, added: “We believe the enhanced YPAD events are invaluable for young drivers. It gives our young people the opportunity to see the horrific consequences of careless and dangerous driving in a safe environment. We do not want to see anyone hurt or injured on our roads and we will continue to work with our partners to educate and protect all road users.”

The principal of New-Bridge integrated College, Anne Anderson, concluded: “This event reinforced for our students the importance of taking more responsibility for our own safety as well as the safety of others whilst driving. The event was both hard hitting and very moving, and there is no doubt it brought home to all of us how responsible we must be as a driver and a passenger as well as the consequences of using our mobile phone in the car.”