Exhibition highlights drink driving

Local historian Peter Thompson pictured with Sam Knox, from Ballymoney Road Safety committee at Ballymoney Town Hall where 50 years of the committee will be celebrated with a three-day exhibition next month. Mr Thompson is supplying historial items used by the former RUC to deliver the road safety message.

Local historian Peter Thompson pictured with Sam Knox, from Ballymoney Road Safety committee at Ballymoney Town Hall where 50 years of the committee will be celebrated with a three-day exhibition next month. Mr Thompson is supplying historial items used by the former RUC to deliver the road safety message.

The exhibition organised by Ballymoney Road Safety in the Town Hall next month will convey a timely message for motorists in the run up to Christmas with a warning by the PSNI on the dangers of drink driving.

The event is primarily aimed at celebrating 50 years of the local committee with displays reflecting the work of members but a key feature will involve raising awareness of the annual drink-drive campaign by the PSNI.

Mr Tom McKeown chair of Ballymoney Road Safety Committee preparing for the 50th anniversary of the Committee in the Town Hall early next month. Mr McKeown is pictured with the chair of Road Safe N.I. Joan Kinnaird who is also a member of the local committee.

Mr Tom McKeown chair of Ballymoney Road Safety Committee preparing for the 50th anniversary of the Committee in the Town Hall early next month. Mr McKeown is pictured with the chair of Road Safe N.I. Joan Kinnaird who is also a member of the local committee.

Constable Syd Henry from Roads Policing said the main thrust would be focused on education, but the three-day event starting on December 5 would also provide an opportunity to highlight the need for motorists to keep within the law during one of the busiest periods in the year for police.

Constable Henry said: “This event will be a way of acknowledging the valuable contribution made by Ballymoney Road Safety committee on their 50th anniversary.

“Our senior Road Safety Officer Inspector Rosie Leech will be present and this is an indication of our commitment to ensuring that we take every opportunity to drive home the safety message.”

Of interest to visitors will be a breathalyser from the 1960’s called an Ethanographe which resembles a tin box. This was one of the first devices used to detect drink drivers and Constable Henry will also have a modern day device to illustrate the advancements in technology.

He will also be bringing an old speed radar gun along with the present day version.

Local historian Peter Thompson who has amassed a large collection of police items has agreed to take along some of those including an old police bicycle, sleeve badges, torch, note pads, report book and caps from decades ago.

His contribution will serve as an indicator of how police uniforms and accessories have changed down the years as well as giving visitors an idea of how road safety and other policing matters were conducted.

Committee officer Mr Sam Knox said police had acted as a partner with them down the years and they had greatly benefitted from the contribution of officers.

“We are more than pleased that the PSNI’s Inspector Rosie Leech will be with us along with Constable Henry who has been a great supporter of our work.

“Our plans are gaining momentum and we want to make this event as interesting as possible.

“We are confident the public will enjoy the many displays much of which will embrace the various educational programmes and campaigns,” Mr Knox said.

Of particular pride to the committee is the work they carried out on the need to dual a major stretch of the A26. A detailed research of road accidents during a 10-year period provided Ballymoney Borough Council with convincing evidence of the need to take action.

The plan was subsequently adopted by the council and presented to the relevant authorities which ultimately had an impact on the decision to give the multi-million project the green light.