Performing arts students at Northern Regional College have taken part in a staged road accident at the College’s Newtownabbey campus to help drive home the message that road safety is everyone’s business.
Road crashes are the biggest killer of young people worldwide and the event, aimed at highlighting the shocking aftermath of an accident, was organised by the College’s Student Services team, in partnership with the PSNI, the Fire and Rescue Service and the Policing and Community Safety Partnership.
As students and staff witnessed the staged fatal road traffic collision in the College carpark, Dennis Auld, Station Commander at Glengormley Fire Station explained the background to the incident and the emergency services’ response when they arrived at the scene of the simulated ‘accident’ in which a pedestrian was hit by a car when it mounted a kerb.
Commander Auld said road accidents were avoidable and appealed to the students to think of the traumatic impact that accidents will have upon their lives and the lives of their loved ones.
He said: “There is no way to sugar coat this: Speed kills so slow down. A speed limit doesn’t mean you have to drive at that speed. Always wear a seat belt pay and attention when you are behind the wheel. Never use your phone when you are driving – don’t even look at it and never ever drive under the influence of drink or drugs.”
In 2016/17 in Counties Antrim and Londonderry, there were 209 road collisions resulting in 235 persons being seriously injured and 27 deaths life. In the Newtownabbey district alone, eight people died on the roads with a further 49 seriously injured. The main causes of the collisions according to the PSNI were inattention, carelessness and speed.
Stephen McCartney, Head of the College’s Student Services said he was pleased with the students’ reaction to the crash re-enactment.
“It was a hard hitting but successful way to highlight the carnage that emergency services can witness when they arrive at the scene of an accident. We hope this will encourage our students to show greater care and consideration to all road users and become better drivers.”