Two rally champions have strongly advised transition year students: “It’s not cool to travel at high speeds.”
Dunlop national rally champion Brian O’Mahony from Carrigaline, Co Cork, and former triple British rally champion Keith Cronin from Ballylickey, Co Cork, emphasised road safety techniques to teenagers at Coláiste Pobail Bheanntrai in West Cork.
The two rally champions illustrated the safety features of a Subaru World Rally Car brought to the college.
Focus was on items such as a roll cage, harness, seats, suspension and brakes.
The students were shown short videos of rally cars in a controlled environment and how the rally crews survived major accidents due to their car’s safety features.
College principal Kevin Healy said: “The whole notion of road safety is very important with 15- and 16 year-olds.
“Coming into the school, I think they have an idea on rallying, but they may not understand fully the safety features involved and the professionalism of the drivers.
“To have a car and two people like Brian and Keith to come in and talk to them today is huge. I could talk to them forever and may not get the message across, but to have two drivers of the quality and professionalism of Brian and Keith explaining to them about the cars and road safety, it’s just invaluable.”
Mr Healy said schools should give consideration to accommodating such talks and demonstrations that highlight the importance of road safety.
Brian O’Mahony, who has been involved with the initiative at other schools, said: “The message we wanted to get across is that it is not safe to travel at speed and, hopefully, they will slow down.”
Mr Cronin added: “Before people go on the road, they need to know the dangers involved, especially young guys, who want to go fast. We need to get through to young drivers they should not endanger their own or other people’s lives.”