Students from the North West Regional College in Limavady were handed a sobering message on a Valentine’s Card before being put through a simulated car crash on Friday.
Limavady Policing and Community Safety Partnership, in partnership with PSNI Roads Policing - delivered the safe driving message, which included the first running of their specially modified ‘car crash simulator’ in the town.
A modified Peugeot 206, the first of its kind in Northern Ireland, has been kitted out with technology to simulate an experience of being in an actual car crash.
The growing issue of dangerous driving throughout the northwest saw this innovative PCSP project, funded by the Department of Justice’s ‘Criminal Confiscation Receipts Fund’, come to fruition.
Limavady PCSP chair Alan Robinson said: “This is a concept to educate young drivers by means of giving them an experience of being in a crash.
“Tying Valentine’s Day in with the car crash simulator was a good fit.”
The car crash 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.
North West Regional College Campus Manager Norah Canny said: “We welcome the opportunity to promote a project which aims to educate on the dangers of driving too fast.
“With such a captive audience here at the College, it was a very worthwhile initiative, one which we were only too happy to support.”