Almost 1000 teenagers from the Dungannon area were served up a hard hitting road safety message this week.
The sixth formers were attending the PSNI’s award-winning Roadsafe Roadshow, supported by AXA Insurance and the Mid Ulster Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP), which depicts graphically how a night out can end in tragedy and permanent disability.
In a dramatic presentation using music, video clips, television and cinema advertisements, the story is told by a police officer, a paramedic, a fire officer, an Accident and Emergency consultant and a young person, who was paralysed following a horrific collision.
The event recognises that many people aged under 25 are killed or injured on our roads, as Constable Trevor Kirke, the PSNI Roads Safety Education Officer, explained:
"The Roadsafe Roadshow has been a major success. We have been able to bring a road safety message to thousands of young people in the highest risk group. I have no doubt that the road show shocks, perhaps even horrifies, our young audiences. We make no apology for that.
"We believe that showing realistically just what happens on our roads, has an impact on the students who attend. I hope that after seeing the road show they realise that they are not indestructible; that they are as vulnerable on the roads as the next person and that they must respect the roads and other users".
"One of the hardest parts of any police officer's job is breaking the news of the death or injury of a loved one to relatives. It is especially heartbreaking when that news is of a young person whose whole life lay ahead. Most traffic collisions could have been avoided and we hope that the road show will help young people realise the consequences of their actions".
Chair of the Mid Ulster PCSP, Councillor Phelim Gildernew, said:
“Every parent’s nightmare is to hear that knock on the door and to be told that their child has been involved in a road traffic accident.
“Shocking though it may be, this roadshow aims to help our young people understand that they may feel completely in control, but that at the start of their motoring life they are most at risk.
“I’m very pleased that the Partnership is supporting the PSNI to deliver such a serious message in such an effective way.”
The roadshow was held in Dungannon Leisure Centre on Wednesday, 11 November 2015.