DIT Students and Gardaí Join Forces for Road Safety Awareness Project 

DIT students work to reduce road deaths

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Students Gráinne Frizzell, Angela McLaughlin and Avril Ryan of
DIT?s B.Sc. Tourism Marketing scooped the overall award
at this years College Awareness of Road Safety CARS Event


29th April 2010

Students from Dublin Institute of Technology have joined forces with the Garda Road Safety Unit to develop new means of communicating road safety messages to young people.  The CARS initiative (College Awareness of Road Safety) involves students from across DIT using their subject skills to explore different aspects of road safety and to design new and effective ways to communicate with young drivers.  The week long event designed to raise awareness of road safety across all DIT campuses was officially launched by Assistant Garda Commissioner Michael Feehan on April 21st in DIT Bolton Street.

According to Elena Gamble, DIT ?the idea for the CARS project is that DIT students from various disciplines work (through their respective courses) with the Garda Road Safety Unit, to learn about road safety issues and to engage in new, novel and effective ways to come to understand issues of road safety with particular emphasis on targeting young drivers?.

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Tragically, young drivers make up a disproportionate share of the nation's road fatalities, and communicating road safety messages to this group is an ongoing challenge. Indeed, young drivers are notoriously difficult to connect with about road safety, and the Garda Road Safety Unit is particularly interested in finding new, novel and effective ways to get the message across. They believe that DIT students are not only in the important age bracket that they are trying to target, but they believe that many of the students can provide valuable insights into how the message of road safety can be communicated more effectively.  

As part of the event, DIT students conducted a showcase of their projects.  This year projects spanned not only disciplines, from engineering to environmental health, and from 1st years to postgraduate level but included a wide range of topics relevant to road safety  e.g. The ?Behaviour of Student Drivers?; Alcohol and its effects on drivers and Reflex reactions while driving.  Other students looked at developing new products including a motion sensor for bicycles which will gather data on how close vehicles are to bikes ? the data collected along bike paths could be used to influence planning.

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