Donegal Road Safety Officer, Brian O'Donnell
The Donegal County Council Road Safety Officer called this year’s Road Safe Road Show the most successful in the 10 years since the programme began.
Brian O’Donnell, council road safety officer, said nearly 3,400 students attended over two days this year, about 1,000 more than last year.
“Our goal is for everybody to see it before they finish their education,” he said.
The Road Safe Road Show, held at the Aura Leisure Centre in Letterkenny, draws students from Donegal, Derry and Tyrone for a harrowing presentation on how quickly a road traffic collision can change lives.
Students attend from every Donegal secondary school and Youthreach centre; this year the number of participating schools in the North jumped from seven to 13.
The road show brings in speakers who have faced the tragedy of road traffic fatalities, from gardaí and emergency services, to hospital medical staff. Students hear from the parent of a young person killed in a road traffic collision and a young person who survived a collision with life-changing injuries.
”The support we’ve been getting from speakers and schools has been 110 per cent,” he said.
Mr. O’Donnell said feedback they have received from parents and schools indicates that the road show creates a lasting impression on the young audience. He said when students hear the emotional accounts from the parent and the young person, “that’s when it becomes real.
”This does happen and this has happened, and that’s the unfortunate reality of it,” Mr. O’Donnell said.