Belfast youngsters experience mock car crash

Belfast youngsters experience mock car crash

A mock car crash was staged in Belfast city centre, forming part of a new road safety campaign. The reconstruction, targeted at young people, was part of Belfast Policing and Community Safety Partnership’s annual Road Safety Roadshow and took place on Wednesday 30 September and Thursday 1 October 2015.

Over 800 students from schools and colleges across Belfast were invited along to see the devastation caused by careless driving, in a safe environment. An article on the Grosvenor Grammar School website eloquently describes the day which revolved around Craig’s story.

Craig was a “cocky” 17 year old who was looking forward to taking his girlfriend on their first night out since he passed his driving test. The students attending the event were shown a video reconstruction of Craig’s evening that ended in tragedy. A serious road accident caused by Craig’s irresponsible driving killed his girlfriend and caused him to suffer serious injuries.  

The story was also told from the perspectives of a police officer, paramedic, fireman and hospital consultant and the horrors they faced when arriving at the scene. The School’s news story tells of the moving and, at times, upsetting accounts of what the witnesses had to endure and what actions they needed to take to deal with the accident.

The Roadshow climaxed with a reconstruction of Craig’s accident in front of Belfast City Hall complete with the overturned car, police vehicles, ambulance and fire engine.

PSNI Superintendent Gerry Murray, head of road policing, was quoted by News Letter as saying, “I have no doubt that those who attend the roadshow are shocked, perhaps even horrified, by what they see. I hope that after seeing the roadshow they realise that they are not indestructible.”

Following a Freedom of Information request, The Detail analysed PSNI statistics of the road collisions in 2013 and 2014 that led to death or serious injury of drivers, passengers, cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians. During the two year period, a total of 136 people were killed across Northern Ireland. Almost a quarter of those were young men aged between 17 and 24.

In an interview for the publication, PSNI Inspector Rosemary Leech said: “For young drivers, it is all about getting experience behind the wheel. It’s about getting past your test and not thinking then immediately you know it all.”