TUESDAY of last week saw the beginning of National Road Safety Week. Transition year students from all over the county were invited to attend a road safety event in the grounds of the Lyrath Estate Hotel, Kilkenny. Over 400 students attended event which was the second one presented by Kilkenny County Council, Fire Service Gardaí and Civil Defense.
The first part of the roadshow saw guest speaker Seamus Nuggent of Cycling Safety give an in-depth talk on the advantages of being a responsible cyclist. Mr. Mark Murphy of Mark Murphy, Motors Clifden Clara give a demonstration of vehicle dynamics and raised the interesting point - Regardless the ability or experience of the driver, there are some things that a vehicle is just not designed to do.
Mr. Brian Gibson spoken frankly about the two vehicle collision he was involved in. Mr. Gibson was the front seat passenger of a vehicle when it was involved in a head on collision. He spoke of his attitude towards driving and how, since the accident it had change; he also spoke of his injuries, recovery and the guilt he carries. “The man we hit was on his way home and after he met us it took him six months to get there,” he said.
Sgt. Con Dooley of Kilkenny Garda traffic division also gave a description of the dangers of bad driving behavior and the process undertaken when one is involved in a collision.
The students were then invited outside to witness a roadside rescue. Mark Murphy Motors supplied a vehicle and the Civil Defence members played the role of the collision victims. The “collision” involved a vehicle which had been in an accident with a cyclist. The students witnessed firsthand the work involved in rescuing people and the type of equipment used.
Hugh Hunter, Kilkenny road safety officer with Kilkenny County Council said he was delighted that students got to witness the demonstrations. “We feel it is very important for them to have a full understanding of the processes involved in road traffic collisions. Due to the high interest we are considering staging more events over the course of the school year, which would coincide with existing events. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the students, teachers, speakers, fire service, civil defence gardaí Murphy Motors for supplying the vehicle and Lyrath Estate Hotell,” he said.