DRIVING THE HOME MESSAGE

ELAINE FURLONG

THE SHOCKING and potentially devastating effects of irresponsible driving really hit home to the 450 Wexford students who experienced firsthand last week chilling emergency scenarios.

As part of the Just One Life Programme, students from the Loreto, Presentation, St. Peter's, CBS and Wexford Vocational College had an unforgettable experience out of the classroom on Thursday when the Wexford Rotary Club hosted another of their successful road traffic awareness programmes, which tries to encourage teenagers to slow down and be safe while driving.

The Just One Life programme is designed to influence the behaviour of young drivers. Over the day, students experienced a series of presentations from the Gardaí, accident and emergency staff, health service personnel and fire crews, organised by Wexford County Council and Wexford Rotary Club. Also in attendance were members of the Fire Service of Northern Ireland and some fire fighters from the boarder counties.

A series of short DVD presentations and talks highlighting the potential dangers and results of road traffic incidents were delivered to the students, before volunteers were later in the day placed inside old cars as 'victims' of car collisions and were extracted by emergency services enacting realistic emergency scenes. Chillingly one 'victim' was removed into the care of the emergency personnel in a body bag, while another was placed on a body board as if to be treated for a spinal injury.

'It was very realistic,' said Michael Brand from Wexford Rotary. ' We've had tremendous feedback from students,' he added.

Throughout the past five-anda-half years, Wexford Rotary has delivered its driver awareness programme to 6,500 pupils in the county.

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