Young Drivers Get Behind The Wheel At Bishopscourt Track

Rowallane DEA Supports Safety Event for Young Drivers at Bishopscourt Racing Circuit

Rowallane DEA Supports Safety Event for Young Drivers at Bishopscourt Racing Circuit

A group of 24 students from St. Colman’s High and Sixth Form College, Ballynahinch took part in a young driver’s safety event organised in association with Rowallane District Electoral Area (DEA) Forum, Drive Techniques, Bishopscourt Racing Circuit, New Drive NI, PSNI and Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS).

The event provided the students with a wide range of information on the dangers of being distracted while driving, vehicle safety and car insurance. Demonstrations were also delivered by the NIFRS and the PSNI on what happens at the scene of a car accident.

Dawn McKay, Isle Drive driving instructor opened the event by discussing road accident deaths, highlighting her own personal experience of losing a best friend in a fatal car accident.

(From left) Roy Biggarstaff, owner of Bishopscourt Racing Circuit; Ellen Brennan, Rowallane DEA Forum Coordinator; Kim Colhoun of Drive Techniques; Aoife Carville and Oisin Lowry, Year 12 pupils St Colman’s High School, Ballynahinch; Sarah Bloomfield Classroom Assistant, St Colman’s High School, Ballynahinch; and NIFRS Watch Commander Philip Mageean, Downpatrick Fire Station. 

The NIFRS presented on the dangers of distraction when driving, which included video clips of serious car accidents.

New Drive NI provided information on car insurance, drawing attention to the difference that vehicle modifications make to premiums for young drivers. Students were given a lesson on how to carry out basic vehicle safety checks on cars, followed by an opportunity to drive around Bishopscourt Racing Circuit, accompanied by a fully qualified driving instructor.

The NIFRS delivered a comprehensive demonstration on how crash victims are cut out of a vehicle following an accident and to make this demonstration more realistic, the PSNI arrested the driver, searched the motorist for a mobile phone and undertook a breathalyser test before escorting the driver away in handcuffs.

Newry Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Cathy Mason said: “The Council fully supports this excellent initiative. The event has highlighted the devastating outcomes of unsafe driving, while delivering some hard-hitting images and presentations which I hope will be remembered by everyone when they sit behind the steering wheel of a vehicle.

“I am pleased that feedback from students and their schools has been very positive, and I congratulate all those involved in delivering this impressive project.”