PCSP road safety project wins top award

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A Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) project was recognised at Northern Ireland’s first Road Safety Awards at Cultra Manor, Belfast last week.

The awards, presented by UTV’s Frank Mitchell, honoured those across the country that have worked tirelessly to improve road safety in their communities.

Causeway Coast and Glens PCSP was highly commended in the Best Public Sector Project category for its 2Fast2Soon car simulator concept.

The project came about due to the growing issue of dangerous driving throughout the Borough.

Reports of young people driving dangerously and ‘doughnutting’ on rural roads during the early hours - as well as large numbers of youth congregating in different areas in their cars - have risen throughout the area.

Causeway Coast and Glens PCSP Vice Chair Leanne Abernethy says the simulator delivered a hard-hitting message to its target group.

“This was a concept to educate drivers by means of giving them an experience of being in a crash,” she says.

The simulation starts with a car journey on a typical Northern Ireland rural road, with the car ending up in a collision.

The experience simulates the occupants being extricated by fire crews with the ambulance providing first aid followed by arrival at A&E department where one person dies through their injuries. This is followed by the knock on the door by the police officer at the parent’s house delivering the fateful news. Finally the girl’s friends reflect on the loss of their best mate at the grave side.

The whole experience is provided by in car DVD screens that play the video, a high quality sound system will provide surround sound, and the cars hydraulic suspension simulates the car journey and point of impact of the crash. A smoke machine and light show enhances the atmosphere in the car.

The modified car seats five people at a time and provides a unique experience, giving the occupants the opportunity to learn from a simulated experience of what a car collision is truly like, the after effects of this and the consequences associated with driving irresponsibly.

The project was used across the Borough to help educate people on what happens when they don’t take care while on the roads.

Other winners to be recognised were individuals and groups from the business, voluntary, education, emergency service and public sectors.