Roadsafe Roadshow drives the message home

 

Over 2,000 screaming transition year students were met by thumping dance music and a theatrical display at a cross-border initiative in Dublin today which was designed to appeal to the young in its treatment of the issue of road accidents.

Fine Gael's transport spokesman Mr Denis Naughton took the opportunity to slam the Government over its lack of attendance at the event and criticised it for its failure to `tackle the carnage on the roads'. He said neither of the two Ministers who would have responsibility in implementing such a measure thought it `important enough to attend the event.'

The show was attended by Mr Dermot Nesbit, the Minister for the Environment in the Northern Executive.

A spokesman for the Department of Transport said the Minister for Transport Mr Seamus Brennan TD, could not attend today's event as he had previously committed to today's closed session of Fianna Fáil TDs and senators in Killarney. The Minister, he said, had made his intentions clear by bringing forward the penalty points scheme and the establishment of a dedicated traffic corps.

The spokesman said the Minister would be holding talks with the North's Minister for the Environment in Belfast in due course and would discuss a cross-border advertising initiative aimed at improving road safety.

The show consisted of a mix of music, film, theatre and a direct address to the audience. Students heard of the experiences of representatives from the emergency services including a police officer, a fireman, a paramedic, a surgeon, a victim support counsellor and a road crash victim.

Research in the North, where the AXA Insurance-sponsored show was seen by students in the Waterfront Hall in Belfast, has indicated it had an impact on those who saw it and it was decided to bring the show south where according to figures, most accidents are caused by those in the 17-24 age bracket.

The National Safety Council, which promotes road safety and fire safety in Ireland, helped to organise today's event and it's chairman Mr Eddie Shaw, said the aim was to encourage young drivers and those about to start driving to `adopt a responsible attitude towards safe driving behaviour.'

Mr Naughton called for such a show to be shown at every school and college in Ireland and for adults to take note of the content as well.

According to the National Safety Authority, it is expected that this communication mechanism will be extended to schools around the country.