We’re kicking road collisions into touch, as part of a multi-agency event to encourage young people to think about road safety.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) and Newry and Mourne Policing and community Safety Partnership (PCSP), have teamed up with the GAA and Ballynahinch Rugby Club to deliver a hard-hitting road safety message to young people aged 16 to 24 years.
The event ‘Slow Down – Hit the pitch not the Ditch’ event was held on September 20th at Ballynahinch Rugby club, where County Senior Footballers Mark Poland and Connaire Harrison for the GAA and Kyle McCall, Aaron Cairns and Jonny Simpson for Ulster Rugby also attended.
Speaking at the event, Inspector Lynne Corbett said, “Road safety is a priority for police in Newry, Mourne and Down, however we all have our part to play. Police officers have visited the homes numerous families across Northern Ireland to deliver the devastating news that one of their loved ones has been killed on our roads. Many more families are helping loved ones cope with serious, life changing injuries.
“While everyone shares the responsibility for road safety, our appeal to drivers and riders is very simple; Slow down; Pay greater attention to the road and your surroundings; If you’re travelling in a vehicle, always wear a seatbelt and never drive or ride a motorbike or scooter after drinking or taking drugs.”
Philip Gregg Chairman Ballynahinch RFC said, “Ballynahinch RFC are delighted to be hosting this multi- agency road safety event. As a community based club, the welfare of all our members is of paramount importance, an event such as this will educate and improve the driving habits of the young people in Newry and Mourne.
Better Drivers, Better People, Safer Community.”
Seán Rooney, Chairman Down GAA, “The GAA are delighted to be supporting this road safety initiative. We think it’s important to get the road safety message out to our young people. We are not invincible and when we get behind the wheel of a car, we need to be mindful of that. Slow down….hit the pitch not the ditch.”
PCSP Chair Cllr Harry Harvey stated " The Policing and Community Safety Partnership are delighted to support this event to promote better and safer driving habits amongst our young people. Young people are statistically over –represented in road traffic collisions in comparison with older car drivers and that's why events like this are so important to increase awareness and safety on our roads"
Watch Commander, Rory Dumigan, NIFRS said, “Firefighters attend road traffic collisions to rescue people trapped in vehicles. Unfortunately, we do witness the carnage on our roads and the lives destroyed as a result of road traffic collisions. We want to educate young people about the devastating consequences of road traffic collisions and by doing a hard-hitting road traffic collision rescue demonstration to these young people we are giving them a glimpse of what it’s like at the scene in the hope that every time they get behind the wheel they will think about what they have seen and heard at this event.”