Young drivers learn important lessons about road safety

Local school pupils Sarah Thornton, Elaine Uprichard, Charlotte Riddell, Phil Gregg and Ryan Wilson at the staged crash site of a Renault Clio at Belfast High School for the PSNI's hardhitting Roadsafe Roadshow.
Local school pupils Sarah Thornton, Elaine Uprichard, Charlotte Riddell, Phil Gregg and Ryan Wilson at the staged crash site of a Renault Clio at Belfast High School for the PSNI's hardhitting Roadsafe Roadshow.

HUNDREDS of young motorists from schools and colleges across the borough have been learning about the importance of careful and responsible driving, thanks to the PSNI’s hard-hitting Roadsafe Roadshow.

Pupils from Belfast High, Edmund Rice College, Monkstown Community School, Glengormley High, Ballyclare Secondary and Ballyclare High gathered for the roadshow at Belfast High School on Thursday, March 8.

Supported by AXA Insurance, Cool FM and Newtownabbey Community Safety Partnership, the roadshow recognises that many of those killed and injured on our roads are under 25 years old. And using the narrative of a tragic night out, it aims to educate and positively influence young drivers about to start out on what will hopefully be a long and safe motoring career. Inspector Colin Audley believes that education is key in reducing the number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads.

“I have no doubt that those who attend the Roadsafe Roadshow are often shocked, perhaps even horrified, by what they see. We make no apology for that,” he said. “We believe that by realistically portraying what can happen on our roads we can have a very real impact on future drivers. It is our hope that after seeing the roadshow they will have a greater understanding of just how vulnerable they can be on the road. We want them to understand that they are not indestructible and that they must respect the road and other users.”

The roadshow, involving police officers, fire and ambulance crews along with hospital staff and Victim Support, has so far been seen by over 94,000 teenagers across Northern Ireland. Inspector Audley added: “We are extremely pleased with the number of schools from across the area who have demonstrated their commitment to road safety by attending the roadshow.

“We are also very grateful to Belfast High School for facilitating us in bringing the road sense and road safe messages to our highest risk group - our young people.”

Councillor Robert Hill, Chairman of Newtownabbey Community Safety Partnership said: “Road safety is a key issue which has been highlighted to us time after time. We in the Newtownabbey Community Safety Partnership hope that by helping to bring the Roadsafe Roadshow to local school pupils and would-be drivers we can go some way to improving road safety in the Newtownabbey borough and ultimately save lives.”