Cookies on Dublin People website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. We also use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Dublin People website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time by amending your browser settings.
Hide Message
  • Northside West

Castleknock students get a virtual reality crash course

Friday, 14th February, 2020 6:00pm
Castleknock students get a virtual reality crash course

Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Eoghan O’ Brien (second to the left); AnnMarie Farrelly, chief executive of Fingal County Council (left); David Storey, director of operations at Fingal County Council (centre); Grainne Carroll, Road Safety Section, Fingal County Council; and students from Castleknock Community

Castleknock students get a virtual reality crash course

Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Eoghan O’ Brien (second to the left); AnnMarie Farrelly, chief executive of Fingal County Council (left); David Storey, director of operations at Fingal County Council (centre); Grainne Carroll, Road Safety Section, Fingal County Council; and students from Castleknock Community

View More Images

FOR the first time, Transition Year students at Castleknock Community College got to experience a road safety instruction programme through the use of modern virtual reality (VR) technology.

Fingal County Council, in partnership with Aviva Driving School, recently brought the VR experience, ‘Your Life – Your Choice’, to the college so that students could see at first hand the impact and results of car crashes.

Targeting young drivers aged between 16 to 25, the programme centres around a virtual reality headset that shows a unique seven-minute simulated experience of a road traffic accident, with the viewer being fully immersed as a front-seat passenger in the crash scenario.

The simulated crash highlights the impact of driver distraction, speed, mobile phone use and shows why wearing seatbelts is so important for all passengers. Students also witness, from the passenger seat, the immediate aftermath of a serious accident, from when the first responders (ambulance, fire services and gardaí) arrive on the scene.

Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Eoghan O’Brien, said: “Our objective with the ‘Your Life – Your Choice’ programme is to better educate young people on the dangers of speed, distractions and using mobile phones while driving. The VR headsets are a tremendous example of how technology can be used innovatively in helping to change drivers’ behaviour on our roads.

“I want to commend the council’s Road Safety Section for bringing forward this initiative. Using newer technology to spread the road safety message demonstrates a fresh approach to raising awareness, particularly among our younger people.”

New research on attitudes to motor safety by Aviva Ireland has shown that one in two (45 percent) 18 to 24-year-olds have felt unsafe travelling as a passenger in a car on more than one occasion, with five percent of the same age group feeling unsafe frequently. 

A total of 148 people died on Irish roads in 2019, including five on Fingal roads (an increase from three in 2018) and 19 on Dublin region roads (an increase from 14 in 2018).

AnnMarie Farrelly, chief executive of Fingal County Council, added: “Alongside An Garda Síochána, this campaign provides a valuable opportunity to demonstrate to young drivers, through the use of new technology, the dangers that they face on the road and to drive home the message and importance of road safety awareness, hopefully further reducing the number of serious or fatal collisions on our roads.”

Mike Kavanagh, manager at Aviva Driving School, said: “We hope that in using virtual reality technology, students will be more inclined to engage with the campaign and will better learn the important road safety messages that are inherent in the simulated crash.”

Over the coming months, the ‘Your Life – Your Choice’ VR experience will be rolled out to Transition Year Students across Fingal and Road Safety Officers from the local authority will also be visiting schools with the programme. 

Mayor of Fingal, Cllr.Eoghan O’ Brien, pictured with Grainne Carroll, Road Safety Section of Fingal County Council and a Castleknock student. Students at Castleknock Community College trying out the VR headsets.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here