A hard-hitting Road Safety Show to alert young people to the human cost of dangerous driving will take place at the Royal Theatre, Castlebar, on Thursday February 9 next at 10.45am.
Up to 1,500 Mayo teenagers have been invited to attend the hour-long presentation by AXA Insurance, in association with Mayo County Council, An Garda Síochána and the local emergency services, which will host Gavin Duffy, captain of Connacht Rugby, as a special guest.
Mr Duffy will explain just how important it is to stay safe and able-bodied and outline why Rugby Union is a great sport as well as a professional career for today’s players, and that to compete in rugby young people need to stay fit and healthy. He will deliver a message to students about how devastating it would be for them if they couldn’t play because of a motor vehicle accident and how important it is to make the right decisions when it comes to driving. Overall the message from Gavin Duffy will remind the young road users to be careful when on the road and remind them they have a lot to live for. Gavin Duffy first played Magners League rugby with Connacht, where his performance attracted attention and soon led to him joining Harlequins from Connacht in the summer of 2003. He made his league debut in the Zurich Premiership game against Rotherham Titans on 20 September that year. He made 92 full appearances and 18 as replacement during that period scoring 21 tries. He rejoined Connacht in late 2006. He has since become a mainstay of the Connacht team and was named as captain for the 2011-12 season.
The hard-hitting and award-winnng road safety campaign first came to Mayo in 2007 after it was showcased in schools in Northern Ireland before being adopted across the border.
Garda Pat O’Hora of the Mayo Traffic Corp stated: “Unfortunately young drivers are most at risk, which is why the emergency services and a whole range of other partners put so much effort into raising awareness among teenagers. We believe this is the biggest co-ordinated road safety campaign ever to be staged in Mayo and we hope the clear messages will stay with the teenagers long after the event has finished.
“The show realistically illustrates what happens all too often on our roads. I hope that after seeing the roadshow the students understand that they are not indestructible; that accidents can and do happen to young people like them; and they must respect the roads and other users.”
Ann Moran, a mother of a road traffic victim, will also speak at the Road Safety Show and appeal to students not to drink and drive, not to speed, and to remember when they put the key in the ignition they are “sitting in a loaded weapon”.