Project Lifesaver helps reduce road deaths in Limerick

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

With road deaths on target to reach a record low in Limerick this year, a senior member of the divisional traffic corps says the behaviour of young drivers has improved dramatically.

With road deaths on target to reach a record low in Limerick this year, a senior member of the divisional traffic corps says the behaviour of young drivers has improved dramatically.

Garda Tony Miniter, who is based at Henry Street garda station, says Project Lifesaver has played a major role in improving road safety in Limerick.

He was speaking following the latest road-safety demonstrations at Mary Immaculate College and at the South Court Hotel in Raheen.

The project, now in its fifth year, is an honest and hard-hitting account of the reality of road safety in Ireland and is targeted at students who are about to embark on their driving careers or who travel in cars with young friends.

As part of the multi-agency initiative, members of the emergency services replicated a two-car collision, involving a fatality.

More than 1,400 students from secondary schools across Limerick city and county attended the demonstration at the South Court Hotel where they witnessed first-hand how gardai, firefighters and paramedics operate when they are deployed at the scene of serious road accidents.

During the staged crash, a man was knocked down and killed by a suspected drink-driver while the female driver of the second car had to be cut from her vehicle by firefighters.

Project Lifesaver is led by An Garda Síochána in association with the Limerick Ambulance Service, Limerick City and County Fire Service, the Health Service Executive and is supported by Limerick City and County Councils.

Caroline Duffy, health and safety officer at Mary Immaculate College said she was delighted that students at the college were able to see first-hand the reality of a serious road crash.

“Our hope is that this road safety initiative, incorporating a crash scene, will serve to improve road safety awareness and will make a difference to everyone that witnessed first-hand what the scene of a fatal road traffic collision is like,” she said.

Garda Miniter says Project Lifesaver, which aims to improve the behaviour of young motorists has had a major impact on driver behaviour in Limerick.

“When you hear the sounds of glass being burst and the girl who was trapped screaming it does make you think. Everybody knows it’s a staged crash but there is a little voice in the back of people’s minds saying it could be me, it could be my brother or my sister,” he said .

So far this year, just three people had died on Limerick roads this year compared to 15 during all of 2011.

None of the fatal accidents happened in Limerick city and there have been no fatalities in the Limerick garda division since the middle of June.