ALMOST 900 students packed into the Watergate Theatre last week for the annual garda road safety show.
Regional Traffic Superintendent Paschal Connolly told the students that there are three elements to road safety: engineering, enforcement and education. “This show falls under the education wing. We are putting transition year students across the city and county through the programme It Won’t Happen to Me. They are part of a vulnerable group of road uses. Out of the 40 deaths in the Southeast between January and today nine were in the 17 to 22 age category. These young people should understand that unless they proactively engage in road safety it could happen to them. The main causes of fatal collisions are speeding, the non wearing of seat belts, the use of mobile phones, fatigue and the use of intoxicants.
“All around the Southeast we are giving young people the opportunity to take part in the programme and a lot of schools will follow through and do more road safety material,” he said.
Sgt Con Dooley and Garda Sean McMahon who are both attached to the traffic unit at Kilkenny Garda Station were presenters at the show.
Chairman of Kilkenny County Council, Cllr Paul Cuddihy also spoke at the event. “The message is don’t take chances. My father was a pathologist and he carried out post mortems on the people that never came home. My brother is a garda and the hardest part of the job is knocking on the door when someone expects it is someone they love that has forgotten their keys and telling them that they have to come and identify their loved one.,” he said.
Mayor of Kilkenny, David Fitzgerald also spoke at the road show. “There will be a night in the next few years when you are looking for a lift in or out of town. If you are the driver remember that the other people in the car are loved and that you are loved and that if anything happens it will destroy people’s lives.,” added the Mayor.