Cork County Council has launched a new road safety awareness programme called ‘Your Life – Your Choice’, using Virtual Reality (VR) Technology to simulate a serious road accident.
The programme is targeted at young drivers aged 16 to 25; the most vulnerable road users with passenger fatalities the highest in this age group. Mayor of County Cork, Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy, launched the VR road safety programme today with the students of St. Mary’s Secondary School Macroom, De La Salle College Macroom, and McEgan College Macroom.
Aviva Driving School have sponsored the programme and VR headsets, and this is the first programme of its kind to be introduced to Ireland. Students using the VR headsets will experience a serious road incident, and see the impact of dangerous behaviours that lead to serious, and fatal collisions drivers are involved in. Factors resulting in the crash are tangible within the stimulation and include: mobile phone use, speed, stopping distance, distraction and rural roads. Participants will also witness, from the passenger seat, the immediate aftermath of a serious incident from when first responders arrive on the scene.
Mayor Gerard Murphy believes ‘any initiative which encourages people, particularly young people, to behave more responsibly behind the wheel is to be welcomed’, and Head of Aviva Driving School, Michael Bannon has said: ‘[Aviva] are now delighted to be supporting the ‘Your Life – Your Choice’ campaign by providing a compelling Virtual Reality experience to young drivers about the consequences of dangerous driving, which we believe will have a positive impact on safer driving.’
The rollout of the program will be led by Cork County Council’s Safety Officer Caroline Casey, a winner of the RSA’s Leading Light Award and is supported by An Garda Síochána, who also played a key part in securing the programme.