13 May 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By Cianna McNally

The importance of road safety was this week driven home to Transition Year students from secondary schools across Co Monaghan as part of a youth driver awareness event.

This is the fifth year that this event has taken place and approximately 250 young people packed into The Garage Theatre on Tuesday morning to hear from a number of speakers. The shock factor was high as detailed presentations, complete with hard-hitting images and videos, were given by people who had first-hand experience of dealing with the carnage caused by road accidents.

Speeding was the biggest cause of crashes but stark warnings were also given about the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Heavy emphasis was put on the damage that could be caused by wearing a seatbelt incorrectly or not at all and the huge risk people took if they drove while using a mobile phone was also clearly spelled out.

Speakers included Karl O’Brien from Monaghan Fire Service, Garry McKenna from Monaghan Ambulance Service and A&E Consultant in Cavan General Hospital, Dr Ashraf Butt.

Monaghan gardai Niall Leech and Paddy O’Flanagan outlined how 166 people had died on Irish roads last year and emphasised that the 16 – 25 age group was most at risk of being involved in road accidents. They also highlighted the effects serious injury could have on a person and their families.

The harsh reality of the carnage caused by road accidents was further emphasised by local undertaker Padraig Ward from Ward’s Funeral Home who handed out a body bag for the students to look at. Mr Ward explained the process he had to go through from receiving a call to collect a body right up until the burial. He echoed previous speakers by urging the students not to be foolish or careless when it came to road safety.

One video shown was a heart-wrenching account of what it felt like to lose a son as a result of a car accident. The video featured local woman Martina …


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