‘Your Life Your Choice’, a new road safety programme developed by Donegal County Council, An Garda Siochana and Pro Social Ireland was officially launched earlier today, Tuesday 4th February and will be delivered to TY students in Donegal Secondary schools.
Brian O’Donnell, Road Safety Officer with Donegal County Council says ‘The objective of the Your Life Your Choice programme is to save young drivers lives. Thousands of vehicles use our roads on a daily basis and road safety for all road users remains and needs to remain high on everyone’s agenda. Road Safety remains a priority issue for Donegal County Council as lives continue to be lost on our roads and no family should have to suffer the pain and loss of a loved one as a result of a road traffic collision’.
The programme combines presentations by members of the Gardai, who have all too often experienced fatal and serious collisions on our roads. This is done by demonstrating to students the common causes of collisions involving young people, in a practical manner which they can understand. It also emphasises the stark realities and often tragic results of inappropriate driving behaviour and provides much needed thought for the young drivers of the future, which seeks to influence the choices they will make as young drivers, in the age group accepted as being most at risk of being involved in a serious traffic collision.
The second part of the programme is the use of Virtual Reality headsets which simulate a serious road traffic collision, with the viewer participating in the passenger seat of a VR car. Pro Social Ireland complete the programme highlighting the importance of how every choice we make has a certain consequence emphasising that poor decision making on our roads will invariably lead to tragic outcomes.
Inspector Michael Harrison stated, ‘An Garda Síochána are delighted to be involved with Donegal County Council and Pro Social Ireland with the launch of the new road safety programme ‘Your Life Your Choice’. The purpose of the programme is to raise awareness of the causes and consequences of Road Traffic Collisions. An Garda Síochána in Donegal are of the opinion that it was necessary to develop the programme which will be delivered to TY students in Secondary schools. The programme has been piloted in a number of schools and the feedback we are getting is very positive. This new programme replaces the “It won’t happen to me” campaign which was delivered to secondary schools in Donegal for a number of years and I would like to thank Donegal County Council and Pro Social Ireland, as well as members from all four Districts in the Division of Donegal that were involved in the production of this road safety programme’.
Cllr. Nicholas Crossan, Cathaoirleach, Donegal County Council said “Any initiative which encourages people, particularly young people, to behave more responsibly behind the wheel is to be welcomed. This new road safety programme ‘Your Life Your Choice’ is a fantastic road safety awareness initiative. The use of VR technology could prove to be extremely beneficial in ensuring that young people are aware of the dangers of driving recklessly. This is a great opportunity to use technology to demonstrate to young adults the impact of poor driver behaviour”.
Everyone involved with the programme would like to thank Tara Harkin, Buncrana and Christopher Sweeney, C.L.G. Ghaoth Dobhair for their very powerful personal stories about their own tragic loss and Seamus Coleman and Kris Meeke, who took time out of their busy schedules to deliver a personal appeal to young road users in Donegal.
If just one life can be saved, if just one young person’s attitude can be influenced to make that person a safer and more responsible driver, this road safety initiative will be a success.