New road safety initiative is launched

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan, PSNI ACC Alan Todd, Liam Lavery, Lavery School Of Motoring, Dunmurry, and Erin Darragh and Ronan Hasson from St Louis Grammar School in Ballymena.
Environment Minister Mark H Durkan, PSNI ACC Alan Todd, Liam Lavery, Lavery School Of Motoring, Dunmurry, and Erin Darragh and Ronan Hasson from St Louis Grammar School in Ballymena.

Two St Louis Pupils have helped Environment Minister Mark H Durkan launch an innovative new road safety initiative with the help of Approved Driving Instructors (ADIs).

Erin Darragh and Ronan Hasson from Ballymena took part in the launch of the “Safe Driving Teaching Aid” produced by the DOE in partnership with PSNI. The aim is to support the role driving instructors play in preparing new and young drivers for the risks of driving independently.

The aim of the teaching aid is to reduce the number of 17-24 year olds killed or seriously injured on our roads by getting road safety messages to young drivers.

Mark H Durkan said: “I have been thinking hard about how we can engage more effectively to get road safety messages across. With this material, we are tapping into the unique position of the driving instructor where he or she can encourage their student to remember the risks on the road, whilst mastering the mechanical skills of driving.

“The pack is an interactive aid designed to help the ADI discuss these risks with learner drivers. By choosing one topic to discuss during each driving lesson, the ADI can help new drivers feel the risks that they will face every day on the road. The teaching aid is a vivid and easy to use resource. It will create debate and stimulate discussion between the instructor and student.

“A total of 79 people lost their lives on our roads last year. The only way to reduce these deaths is for everyone on the road to make better choices, and safer decisions, on every journey.”

The Minister concluded: “I am grateful to the many instructors and schools that have shown their support for our ‘Share the Road to Zero’ campaign. This aid will provide them with a tool to deepen that support during the driving lesson. All learner drivers are also encouraged to commit to the pledge to Share the Road to Zero.”

Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd said; “The sad reality is that road-users under 25 years of age are most at risk of killing or seriously injuring themselves or others on our roads. This new education pack gives driving instructors the opportunity deliver a challenging message which graphically illustrates the dangers young motorists can face, how quickly things can go wrong and how lives can be shattered. We hope that it will help to positively influence drivers who are starting out on their long and safe motoring careers.”

Approved Driving Instructor, Liam Lavery, said: “This new DOE pack for ADIs is a great teaching aid. It reinforces to the pupil the importance of approaching learning to drive with a responsible attitude and to continue driving within both legal and personal limits.”

If you are an Approved Driving Instructor, you can request a pack by emailing: RoadSafety.ClarenceCourt@doeni.gov.uk or calling 028 9054 0383.