Pupils at St. Killian’s College, Carnlough, were given a stark reminder of the carnage faced by firefighters at the scene of a road traffic accident during a re-enactment in the school grounds recently.
The mock scenario staged by Translink, in partnership with the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, involving a school bus was staged to mark the final day of Road Safety Week, to remind pupils of the very serious potential consequences of forgetting to wear their seatbelts while travelling.
The “incident” was also a valuable training exercise for the emergency services, with 30 pupils from the school acting as “casualties” to be rescued.
Sam Todd, service delivery manager, for Translink said: “St Killian’s is a unique school in that each one of its 800 plus pupils are bussed to and from school because of its location. This means that the re-enactment will have been relevant to every one of them, as well as their families and teachers. The school has been very proactive in working with us to encourage pupils to use their seatbelts, which the majority of our dedicated school bus services have been fitted with.
“The re-enactment is the second part of a programme of activity to promote safe travel that we have working with the school to deliver, and in the New Year, we plan to challenge the pupils to devise a way to promote seatbelt use on public transport to their peers.”
Padraig McIlwaine, vice principal, St Killian’s said: “We have run a series of events for pupils at the school this week to explore some of the key messages of Road Safety Week. Many of our pupils are learning to drive and all of them travel to school by bus, making this safety exercise relevant to them, regardless of their stage in second level education.
“We would like to thank Translink for working with us to deliver a programme of safety activity which we hope will leave our students with a legacy of awareness of their safety obligations for themselves and others.”
Station commander, Patsy Begley, Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, added: “This road traffic collision extraction demonstration is aimed at current and future young drivers. It provides students with an insight into the carnage that firefighters witness all too often on our roads and the lives completely destroyed, caused by irresponsible road user behaviour such as speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, inattention or drink/drug driving.
“We want everyone to be safe when out and about on the roads and hope that our demonstration will make people think twice when they get behind the wheel about what the consequences can be.”
For further information on Translink’s programme of safety activity, go to www.translink.co.uk or for information on St Killian’s programme to support the messages of Road Safety Week, go to stkillianscollege.org.uk/