Traffic collision simulation in Bandon demonstrates the harsh realities of road accidents to local students

ON Wednesday 17th May last, combined resources from An Garda Siochana, HSE National Ambulance Service, Fire Service and the Red Cross organised a traffic collision simulation exercise in Bandon.

Approximately 300 Transition Year students from the four secondary schools in Bandon town, namely Saint Brogan’s College, Hamilton High School, Bandon Grammar School and Colaiste na Toirbhirte attended this Road Safety Awareness exercise.

With the assistance of local Gardai, the main N71 Bandon to Clonakilty road was closed at Old Chapel for a period, and traffic diversions were put in place. A two car collision resulting in serious injury and a fatality was simulated. Volunteers from the Bandon branch of the Irish Red Cross played the part of crash participants. On completion of the simulation, various speakers from the emergency services addressed the students using a Public Address system, so that the students were informed of what action had been taken by the emergency services at each stage, 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. In preparation for this demonstration, the schools were visited the day before by Barry Hayes, HSE Paramedic, Aidan Buckley, Station Officer, Bandon Fire Brigade, and Damian White, Community Garda. They 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 were explained, and the importance of wearing a seatbelt was discussed. The consequences of using a mobile phone whilst driving, and drink or drug driving were also discussed in the course of the demonstration. The importance of having tyres in good condition was also outlined, in keeping with the current national campaign regarding tyre safety. 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 HSE National Ambulance Service, especially HSE Supervisor Barry Hayes, and Bandon Fire Service, led by Station Officer Aidan Buckley. Thanks also to the members of the Bandon branch of the Irish Red Cross, and to Marie O Donovan who applied the extremely realistic casualty make up.

John O Donovan of O Donovan’s TV & 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. Bandon Rugby kindly allowed their clubhouse to be used in order to assemble the students, and provided shelter from the rain to the students before the simulation. The feedback from the students and teachers from all participating schools was very positive, and this beneficial event was only possible with the assistance of all participants.