A hard-hitting road safety message was delivered to over 1000 teenagers at the Royal Theatre in Castlebar, Co Mayo on Wednesday last, when they viewed the AXA Insurance award-winning Road Safety Roadshow. The event was organised in conjunction with Mayo County Council, An Garda Siochana and the local emergency services.
Before the Roadshow began a boisterous crowd of transition and senior year students hustled their way to their seats in the Theatre. But it wasn’t too long before a silence fell on the room.
The show graphically depicts how a night out ends in tragedy for a teenager after a road traffic accident. The story was told by a Garda officer, a paramedic, a fire officer, an emergency consultant, an undertaker, a mother of a victim and Richard Alcorn from Donegal, who was paralysed following a road traffic collision a number of years ago. Richard has lost a number of friends in road traffic collisions and is keen to help deliver the road safety message to others in the country.
The narrative was interspersed with music, video clips and television advertisements.
Speaking after the event, Noel Gibbons, Road Safety Officer, Mayo County Council said, “The Road Safety Roadshow continues to be a major success. It allows us to deliver a hard hitting and high impact road safety message to thousands of young people in the highest risk group. I have no doubt that the Roadshow shocks, perhaps even horrifies our young audiences and make no apology for that. The show realistically illustrates what happens all too often on our roads. I hope that after seeing the Roadshow the students understand that they are not indestructible; that it can and does happen to young people like them; and they must respect the roads and other users.”
Incorporating FIA’s (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) Action for Road safety’s 10 Golden Rules for Safer Motoring and Motorsport Ireland’s road safety initiative, Keep The Race In Its Place, which is supported by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and aimed at young drivers, Mayo’s Club Road Safety Officer Maggie Bonner and several members from the Motorclub , were on hand at the Roadshow to demonstrate how a rally car differs from a road car and to show the level of safety protection used in motorsport.
Speaking after the Roadshow, Maggie said: “Our sport wants to do everything that it can to help spread the message about safe driving. Irish efforts to improve road safety have been most impressive. But we still believe that we can do more and that motorsport can help. We know that Ireland probably has one of the highest numbers of rallying fans than any other country in Europe, so it is vital that we engage with this group of young people at their level. We are delighted to support the Roadsafety Roadshow, which will take the safe driving message straight to the most important audience. It will show that if you love driving and you love motorsport, then you should respect the roads and drive safely.”