RSA, An Garda Síochána and Meath County Council target secondary school students in County Meath with new road safety campaign17.05.2022
The Road Safety Authority (RSA), An Garda Síochána and Meath County Council with support from Trim GAA ran a joint road safety initiative, which took place at Trim GAA Club on 11, 12 and 13 May in Trim, Co. Meath. The initiative was designed to improve road safety awareness among students from secondary schools and Youthreach groups throughout Co. Meath.
Representatives from Roads Policing and Community Policing Units in An Garda Síochána together with the RSA’s road safety educators delivered a series of presentations to students, which tackled all elements of road safety including walking, cycling, being a passenger and practising safe road behaviour.
The RSA’s Interactive road safety information ‘Shuttle’ was located at Trim GAA Club and students and visitors enjoyed an interactive, educational road safety experience. They experienced simulated virtual situations in virtual reality pods and experienced first-hand the dangers of driving and texting, driver fatigue and the consequences of drink driving. Students practised their driving and hazard perception skills on the motorbike simulator as well as practicing their driver theory test and testing their brake reaction times.
Mr Sam Waide, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority, said that “it is vital that good road safety attitudes and behaviour are fostered at an early stage but especially among secondary school students, many of whom will be starting their learning to drive journey soon. Through coordinated collaborations such as this between the RSA, An Garda Síochána we can deliver a comprehensive road safety intervention to secondary school and students which supports the work that each agency is already doing on the ground in schools. Ultimately such partnership activity will encourage good road safety behaviour and respect of our roads and road users.”
Assistant Commissioner, Paula Hilman, Roads Policing and Community Engagement, An Garda Síochána added: It is important that our young people learn about road safety and are aware of the dangers of poor behaviour on our roads. The young people of today are our drivers of the future and it is important to invest in their learning development. This initiative is designed to give young people an understanding of the issues surrounding poor behaviours like speeding, using mobile devices and intoxicated driving. The students will develop an insight into the dangers facing vulnerable road users. It is good to see a range of agencies working together on this collaborative educational experience to deliver a safer environment for all road users’.
Mr. Michael Finnegan, Road Safety Officer in Meath County Council was delighted to have completed a three day road safety event in Trim which was very successful and involved all secondary schools in South Meath and local Youthreach clubs.
Provisional figures from An Garda Síochána* show that 6 people have lost their lives on Meath roads so far this year. Fourteen people lost their lives on roads in Meath in 2021.
Ireland’s Road Safety Strategy
Ireland’s fifth government Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030 aims to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on Irish roads by 50% over the next 10 years. This means reducing deaths on Ireland’s roads annually from 144 to 72 or lower and reducing serious injuries from 1,259 to 630 or lower by 2030.
The strategy is the first step in achieving the 2020 Programme for Government commitment of bringing Ireland to ‘Vision Zero’. This is to eliminate all road deaths and serious injuries on Irish roads by the year 2050.