Ballymoney Rotary Club, for the second year in succession, ran a ‘Just One Life’ young driver awareness programme.
The event was held at Joey Dunlop Centre Ballymoney on January 25 and was attended by 300 students in the 15-17 age range from Dalriada School, Ballymoney High School and Our Lady of Lourdes School, Ballymoney.
The event involved input from PSNI Roads Policing Unit, NI Ambulance Service and NI Fire Service.
Maura Hickey, Mayor of the Causeway Coast and Glens Council attended to show her support for the initiative.
The objective was to demonstrate the most common causes of road accidents to our young most vulnerable group soon to be on our roads.
JKC BMW Coleraine were the major sponsors and provided the cars and backup.
The day began after the formalities with Inspector John Millar Road Policing Commander, an officer with over 30 yrs experience giving a snap shot of his experiences in Traffic Branch. He explained the necessity of N.Ireland having the hardest hitting crash videos in Great Britain. The young audience was then treated to examples of some of our TV adverts.
The students then transferred to the adjacent Minor Hall where a demo RTC was in progress involving a small car and two cyclists. Both cyclists were badly injured and were being attended by personnel from the PSNI, NI Ambulance and NI Fire Service.
On transferring back to the Main Hall a realistic court scene had been setup in which the young car driver, who had been charged with a number of serious motoring offences, was made aware of the seriousness and recklessness of his actions, fined, given a driving ban and given a suspended jail sentence.
The parts of the resident magistrate and defending solicitor were played by real life solicitors John Pinkerton and Stephen Flynn with Constable Sydney Henry of the PSNI in the witness box as first on the scene of the collision.
It is fair to say that, after witnessing the videos, collision scene and the subsequent admonishment of the young driver in the court scene, the normally lively students were silent and deep in thought.
Hopefully the message they received will stay fresh in their minds when the take to the roads as drivers.
If this event manages to save JUST ONE LIFE it has been a worthwhile project