The Garda Schools Transition Year Road Show was delivered in the George Bernard Shaw Theatre in conjunction with Carlow County Council recently.
Four Garda speakers delivered two 90 minute hard hitting presentations to almost 600 students on the theme of "Safer Socialising" incorporating an age appropriate Road Safety presentation.
This has been delivered in Carlow each year for several years and is highly appreciated by all who see it.
Sgt Conor Egan, Community Policing; Gda Essmay Mannix, Carlow; Gda Ian Roche, Divisional Drugs Unit; and Gda Martin Ging, Road Policing Unit were the speakers who set out to increase student’s knowledge on the impact of alcohol, drugs and inappropriate road behaviour.
They encouraged students to make educated choices and plan their nights out.
They used video inserts from Det. Sgt. Seán O’Meara and Dr. David Waldron, St.Lukes Hospital, Kilkenny and John Leahy, Drugs Education Officer, HSE to explain the consequences of abuse of alcohol and behavioural change.
They explained the consequences on travel and employment opportunities of criminal background check showing convictions connected with drink and drugs.
Good advice on the use of social media and sexting was offered with video inserts on consent by Ruth Butler of the Rape Crisis Centre.
Gda Ian Roche gave information on the effects of various drugs including cannabinoids, cocaine, opiates, stimulants and benzoids – emphasising their interference with thinking and concentration leading to relationship breakdown, unemployment, addiction, debt problems, anti-social behaviour, mental and physical health problems.
He outlined the Garda powers under the Misuse of Drugs Acts.
There were 48 fatalities on Irish roads this year to date, advised Gda Martin Ging of Carlow Roads Policing unit.
This is an increase on the same date last year. He emphasised the need to drive under the speed limit, use seat belts, never drink (or take drugs) and drive as well as not using the mobile devices while driving.
He stated that there were 149 deaths on Irish roads in 2018 – 117 male and 32 female. Twenty-eight per cent of drivers and passengers killed in 2018 were not wearing a seat belt, he told listeners. Everybody knows a road casualty, he said.
Sgt. Conor Egan and Gda Essmay Mannix advised students to P.L.A.N. nights out:
P: go with Peers; have Phone charged; Prepare the outing; Pre-drinking – limit it (illegal for u 18s).
L: Know your Limits; Leave no one behind; Location – stay together; Let someone know where you are going; arrange a Lift home.
A: Avoid Anti-Social Behaviour; Be Aware of the consequences and Avoid conflict – the smart person walks away.
N: Have Numbers of home and emergency services; Never leave drinks or belongings unattended; Nominate a buddy to stay with and Njoy yourself.