The second annual Shannan McCracken Memorial Safe Driving Event organised by Ballymoney Road Safety Committee was held at Dalriada School for students in Upper and Lower 6th taking part who are newly qualified drivers.
As was the case last year, the event aimed to raise awareness of the general risks to young drivers on the province’s roads.
Ballymoney Road Safety Committee had formed a partnership with Dalriada School, the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Institute of Advanced Motorists to design and plan the event at St. James’s Presbyterian Church hall where a number of stallholders were present.
Paul and Diane McCracken, whose teenage daughter, Shannan, lost her life in a road accident just outside Ballymoney on July 24, 2009, again gave their support and when Mr McCracken addressed students he delivered a stern warning about the dangers on the roads and the need to exercise extreme caution.
“We lost Shannan and it’s become a life sentence for both of us. It never goes away,” he said.
The event provided a real test of driving skills for the young competitors. On the day competitors had to undertake an observed drive on a route around Ballymoney which was assessed by an Instructor from the Institute of Advanced Motorists.
Competitors also undertook a series of manoeuvrability tests – Vauxhall Corsa’s were supplied by Roadside Garages in Coleraine for this part of the event. The competition also involved a test undertaken on a driving simulator which had been provided by the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service.
As part of the event an exhibition was mounted in St James’s Presbyterian Church Hall for all sixth form students. Exhibitors from the following organisations provided their expertise and advice on the day.
Mr Tom McKeown, chair of the Road Safety committee, described the event as a success and thanked all who took part.