Donegal County Council’s Road Safety Road Show has played a huge part in the reduction of the number of fatalities on the county’s roads, the county’s mayor has said.
Mayor Noel McBride was speaking on Monday at a civic reception in honour of the Donegal Road Safety Workshop Group and to mark the groups’ success in securing a major honour for the council for its Road Safe Road Show.
The council was named ‘Council of the Year at the Local Authority Members’ Association (LAMA) awards in February, an award given due to the success of the Road Safe Road Show. The road show is run by the council’s Donegal Road Safety Working Group which was set up in 1997. Thirty people died on the county’s roads that year compared to just six in 2011.
The council was the second in the country to appoint a road safety officer and the first to appoint a road safety engineer.
Cllr. McBride thanked Cllr. John Boye who as mayor had worked to bring the road show to Donegal after seeing one run by the PSNI.
The mayor said the road safety officer, Eammon Browne, who he said had risen to the challenge of taking the road show and localising it.
“The road show is about saving lives on our roads and I think that the road show has played a huge part in reducing the number of fatalities on our roads,” he said.
County Manager Seamus Neely said the road show has been a tremendous success in delivering a very hard hitting but necessary message to our young road users.
“The findings are that the show does successfully demonstrate a powerful and lasting impact on young drivers and positively impacts on their driving behaviour in the short term as well.”
Cllr. Boyle said at the time he attended the PSNI event in Omagh the number of accidents on the county’s roads at weekends “was crazy”.
“It is impossible to calculate the benefit but you can look at the statistics at the minute and it has to be working and working well.”
The council’s Regional Road Safety Engineer, Stephen Lambert, said the civic reception was a great honour.
He said the road show is directed at drivers of the future and is designed to have an immediate and long term effect.”