The grim reality of careless driving was brought home to year 11 and 12 pupils of Drumcree College last week when a car crash simulator visited the school.
The simulator is one of only a few in use across the UK and is equipped with hi-tech equipment to simulate a real-life crash.
Delivered by Northern Ireland insurance broker Autoline Insurance Group in association with the road safety charity ‘Brake’, the ‘2 Young 2 Die’ campaign encourages students to think about issues such as speed, alcohol and drugs, distractions and the consequences of crashes.
In addition to using a range of hard-hitting videos, statistics and workshop discussions, the initiative includes a specially modified Ford Focus.
It uses a high quality sound system, hydraulics, smoke and lights to recreate a true incident which resulted in multiple fatalities and a prison sentence for the 17-year-old driver.
This year, six people have died so far on Northern Ireland’s roads. Last year, the figure was 74, of whom more than 30 per cent were aged under 25.
Mairtin McConville, senior teacher, said, “Road safety is a major issue for both pupils and parents, particularly for young drivers getting behind the wheel for the first time.
“Autoline’s ‘2 Young 2 Die’ session and simulator crash car have made a very powerful impression on our students, giving them invaluable insight into the stark realities of a car crash and advice on how to keep safe on the roads.”
Suzanne Curtis from Autoline Insurance Group said, “In the last three years we’ve used the campaign to encourage young people to think about issues such as speed, alcohol, rural roads and drugs, and the irreversible consequences that a car crash has upon victims, family and friends.
“We also want students to appreciate the dangers involved when travelling with a driver who takes unnecessary risks. New regulations being introduced by the Northern Ireland Assembly will restrict the number of passengers new drivers can carry between 11pm and 6am and an improved training programme for learner drivers will also help.”
Schools or organisations wishing to take part in the ’ programme should contact Suzanne Curtis at Autoline on 028 3025 9178.