On May 12 last, combined resources from An Garda Siochana, National Ambulance Service, Fire Service, West Cork Rapid Response and the Red Cross organised a traffic collision simulation in Bandon.
In excess of 300 Transition Year students from the four secondary schools in Bandon town, namely Saint Brogan’s College, Bandon Grammar School, Hamilton High School and Colaiste na Toirbhirthe attended this Road Safety Awareness exercise.
With the assistance of the Garda Traffic Corps, led by Inspector Gerry Lacey, the main N71 Bandon Clonakilty road was closed at Old Chapel for a period, and traffic diversions were put in place. A two-car collision resulting in a number of fatalities was simulated and volunteers from Bandon Red Cross played the part of the victims and survivors of the crash.
At various stages of the simulation, the exercise was paused, and utilising a Public Address system, the students were informed of what action was being taken by the emergency services, and why.
This simulation is of great benefit to these future drivers, as it demonstrates the harsh realities of what exactly is involved in a traffic collision. It is highlighted that no one goes out with the intention of being involved in a collision, but due to poor habits and poor judgements, serious consequences arise, and lives are lost. The effects of speeding are explained, and the importances of wearing a seatbelt, using a mobile phone whilst driving, and drink or drug driving were also discussed in the course of the demonstration. Emphasis was also placed on the fact that all road users have a part to play in road safety, whether they are a driver, passenger, cyclist, or pedestrian.
Garda Damian White, Community Garda based in Bandon, would like to extend sincere thanks to the National Ambulance Service, especially Barry Hayes, Bandon Fire Service, led by Station Officer Aidan Buckley, and Dr Jason van der Velde of West Cork Rapid Response. Thanks also to the members of the Bandon and Clonakilty branches of the Irish Red Cross, and to Marie O Donovan who applied the casualty make up. Barry O Donovan of O Donovan’s TV and Electrical kindly provided and operated the PA system, and Phillip Cross of Phillip Cross Motors assisted by providing the vehicles involved and in their safe removal after the exercise. The feedback from the students and teachers from all participating schools was very positive.