Well-known Ballina undertaker and business entrepreneur David McGowan will be one of the speakers at the hard-hitting road safety roadshow which will take place in the Breaffy House Conference Centre next month.
Transition year students from 29 secondary schools and Youthreach centres from across the county will be attending the AXA/Mayo County Council Safety Roadshow which will take place on Wednesday, February 9.
The roadshow has been running in Mayo since 2007 and is aimed at showing teenagers the reality of what occurs when you are in a road traffic accident and the impact on families and the emergency services.
David McGowan will be one of the personalities who will address the students and outline his experiences of road deaths through his profession. The other speakers will include members of the emergency services who frequently have to attend to serious road traffic accidents, as well as a family member of a deceased road traffic accident victim.
Noel Gibbons, the Road Safety Officer with Mayo County Council, said the roadshow is designed to show young people, who may be just starting to learn to drive, of the dangers that lurk on the country’s roads.
“The roadshow is aimed at transition year students and the objective of the show is to encourage young drivers, and those about to commence their driving career, to adopt a more responsible attitude in terms of their own driving behaviour. The consequences should they fail to do so will be clearly and graphically demonstrated.
“During the show, young people will have an opportunity to benefit from presentations made by An Garda Síochána (Garda Hugh McHugh of Castlebar Garda Station), Ambulance Service (Mr Brian Moran), Fire Service (Mr Pete Mc Donnell), a consultant based within A&E Department in Castlebar General (Mr Paul O Grady), a family member of a deceased road traffic accident victim (Mrs Ann Flynn), a car crash survivor (Richard Alcorn), and an undertaker (Mr David McGowan).
“We believe that this is a very worthwhile event, which will hopefully leave a lasting positive impression on the young people present. There will be one show – the show will commence at 10.45am sharp and members of the public are welcome if they contact the road safety office of Mayo County Council prior to the event.”
Mayo bucked the national trend in terms of road deaths in 2016 with four people dying on the county’s roads in the last 12 months compared to 13 in 2015. Nationally, the number of road deaths rose by 15 percent with the total number of fatalities for 2016 standing at 187.
The increase in road deaths across the county led for calls for fresh legislation and increased Garda numbers to reduce the number of deaths. Over the Christmas period there was a 34 percent rise in the numbers of drivers stopped for suspected drink driving and this led to calls for drink drivers to be ‘named and shamed’.