Ulster GAA and NIFRS launch new road safety partnership

November 22nd, 2018

In this Road Safety Week 2018, Ulster GAA have launched a new road safety partnership with the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) and other emergency services.

The NIFRS ‘Your Choice’ programme complements Ulster GAA’s well-established ‘Live to Play’ programme, which aims to raise awareness of road safety amongst the GAA community.

The new partnership has re-invigorated the ‘Live to Play’ Club Event Model, which in the past seen events being held in clubs in which a few participants got to experience being cut-out of a car-wreck. Although extremely realistic and hard-hitting, this model posed several obstacles for clubs, such as having to source a car-wreck, and subsequent decontamination and transport of it. Through the NIFRS ‘Your Choice’ programme, the need for a car-wreck has been removed and replaced with a virtual reality experience for all participants. The VR scenario is a 7-minute true-to-life experience of being involved in a road traffic collision.

Alan Walmsley, Assistant Chief Fire & Rescue Officer, Prevention & Protection explained:

“Sadly 16-24 year olds, and in particular young men, continue to be over represented in the statistics for those killed or seriously injured on our roads.

“Working in partnership with sporting organisations such as Ulster GAA provides the perfect synergy for us as a Fire & Rescue Service to help us target this at-risk road user group. It will also allow us to hone our activity to those geographical areas which continue to have high levels of road traffic collisions.

“The technology in ‘Your Choice’ allows every user wearing a headset to experience the stark reality of being trapped in a vehicle and to observe up close the work of the emergency services at the scene of road traffic collision.  It’s uncompromisingly direct and honest. 

“With the support of Ulster GAA we will be able to reach more young people and remind them that they have a choice to decide what kind of road user they and their passengers will be.  Those decisions are vital to their safety and the safety of other road users. One life lost is one too many”

“I would like to thank and commend Ulster GAA for their forward thinking in embracing this new partnership building on the foundations of previous initiatives.”

Ulster GAA CEO Brian McAvoy praised NIFRS for the development of the programme:

“We are delighted to be involved in the ‘Your Choice’ programme, which perfectly complements our well-established ‘Live to Play’ road safety awareness campaign. Unfortunately, our members are well aware of the devastating impact of death and serious injury caused on our roads.  Statistics show that most road accidents are caused by human error.  The ‘Your Choice’ programme excellently portrays the real and serious implications of unsafe driving behaviours and we would encourage our clubs to get involved in this very worthwhile programme in order to make our roads safer for everyone.”

If you would like more information on Ulster GAA’s ‘Live to Play’ programme please visit the website: http://ulster.gaa.ie/livetoplay

If your club would be interested in hosting a ‘Live to Play’ Club Event under the ‘Your Choice’ programme please contact YourChoice@nifrs.org