Our Firefighters are regularly called to attend road traffic collisions (RTCs) when people are trapped inside their vehicles and need rescued.
Firefighters witness first-hand the lives completely destroyed as a result of RTCs, and so we appreciate the importance of providing educational programmes to try and stop these incidents from occurring. This is why, as well as responding operationally to RTCs, we deliver an educational programme ‘Your Choice’ aimed at reducing death and injury on our roads.
We also work in partnership with The Department for Infrastructure; the PSNI; and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service to raise awareness of everyone’s personal responsibility to behave appropriately, every day, on every journey.
Our Road Safety Advice
If you are a driver you are responsible for the car you drive, including:
Road Worthiness of your vehicle
- Check your tyres – balding tires affect your breaking distance.
- Check your brakes – poor brakes could be the difference between stopping in time or not.
- Check your break lights and headlights – they could be the difference between someone going into the back of your vehicle or not, or you seeing someone step out in front of you or not.
Awareness of Road Conditions
- Time of day – drive at the speed the conditions allow for- such as in darkness, heavy traffic etc.
- It takes a lot longer to stop when the road conditions are wet.
- It’s harder to see cyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians and tractors when it’s dark.
- Put on your hazard warning lights and phone for breakdown assistance.
- Only if it’s safe to do so, try and get your vehicle off the road.
- Put a warning triangle on the road at least 45 metres away (but not on a motorway).
- Always stand a safe distance away from the vehicle.
- Drink/Drugs – driving under the influence changes your hearing, vision and perception.
- Never use your mobile phone – checking your phone could result in you being involved in a collision.
- Careless Driving – never get distracted while driving
- Always wear a seatbelt.
- Don’t speed- less time to react to the conditions and obstacles.
This Blue Light Aware video explains what you should do when faced with an approaching emergency vehicle.
More road safety information can be found on the Share the Road to Zero website.
‘Your Choice’ is our free immersive educational programme for groups of 16-24 year olds from community, voluntary and statutory organisations. It allows users to experience a road traffic collision through the use of virtual reality (VR) technology. It highlights to young drivers the dangers on our roads and what can happen if things go wrong.
Through the ‘Your Choice’ VR goggles, the user is placed into a scenario where they, as a front seat passenger, experience poor decision making by the driver and other passengers. The user then witnesses a full 360° crash scene rescue with the arrival of the emergency services.
Each user is provided with a headset to experience the reality of being trapped in a vehicle and to observe up close the work of the emergency services at the scene of a RTC.
The VR experience is supported by a session during which students receive a presentation and discuss road safety messages directly related to the VR film they have just witnessed.
To find out more email [email protected].