Students from a Co Down college and the Chairperson of the Stormont Committee responsible for road safety have taken part in one of Northern Ireland’s most hi-tech road safety initiatives.
William Humphrey MLA, local Councillor Trevor Cummings and Year 11 and 12 pupils took part in a workshop and car crash simulator with pupils from Nendrum College, Comber.
The event was organised by Autoline Insurance in association with the road safety charity ‘Brake’.
The specially equipped Ford Focus ST is a key part of Autoline’s ‘Respect The Road’ campaign and has been adapted to include in-car screens, speakers, smoke machines and bespoke hydraulics. The vehicle is used to recreate a real life fatal crash incident that led to a 17-year old driver being sentenced to prison.
Mr Humphrey, Chairperson of the Infrastructure Committee, said: “Road safety is a key priority for my Committee and it would be my intention as Chair to use the report from the Committee’s road safety stakeholder event in November to hold a debate in the House.
“The devastation caused by a fatal road accident is difficult to comprehend and we need to continually refresh and update our road safety campaigns.
“I’ve been impressed by the impact which today’s event has had on pupils and I’m delighted that Autoline is taking the safety message directly to young drivers with such a powerful and innovative approach.”
Over 5,000 young people have taken part in ‘Respect The Road’ workshops so far, exploring issues such as inexperience on rural roads, distractions caused by mobile phones and other devices, alcohol and drugs, as well as the irreversible consequences of speeding and careless driving.