Road Safety Week launches in UCD

The UCD Students’ Union, in partnership with the Union of Students Ireland (USI) and the Road Safety Authority (RSA), are hosting Road Safety Week next week.The campaign will involve a number of events across campus, including a mock crash scene, driver simulation and the chance for a student to win the use of a car for the remainder of the academic year. UCDSU Campaigns and Comminations Officer Paddy Guiney says: “The main flagship event will take place Wednesday. Skoda Ireland are bringing a car in the Student Centre and a student can win the use of it for the academic year, fully insured. There’ll be a number of challenges on the day; they have to take theory tests and a test on Skoda. It’s light-hearted and I don’t think it’s ever been done.”There will also be a number of serious events taking place across campus to remember the victims of road accidents in the hopes of preventing further accidents. Guiney says “the Candlelight Vigil, like previous years, will take place on Monday to remember people who were lost through road accidents. Another event we have is the road caster coming in, and we’re going to have a mock crash scene with RSA to highlight how in your face and effective and shocking a car crash can be.”The RSA road caster will be on campus on Monday. This vehicle contains driver simulation programmes, computers installed with driver theory test programmes and information about various road safety campaigns. There will also be information for students about the driver theory test and opportunities for students to practise the test, find information on the cost and an opportunity to book the test.Road deaths in Ireland are at an all-time low this year. Campaigns run by the RSA to create awareness about drink driving, seatbelts and using mobile phones have been linked to the reduced road accidents, with Dublin recently announced as having the safest roads in any European capital city. However 186 people lost their lives on Irish roads in 2011.Road safety week has taken place in UCD in previous years, but not last year. In 2010, the campaign focused on drink driving. Guiney stresses the importance of awareness of road safety for students. “Road Safety Week was not done last year. I really want to have an effective one this year because it does affect a lot of people. We have AXA coming in to offer students cut down prices on their insurance. We want to encourage students to ensure that their cars are fully safe and fully insured.”