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Road Safety Reimagined, Limerick - 16th April 2024

Issue Date: 16th April 2024

Today, Tuesday April 16, students from the University of Limerick, South East Technological University, Maynooth University showcased their Road Safety Reimagined projects highlighting the dangers posed by drug driving.

This road safety initiative, which is being led by An Garda Síochána and the University of Limerick, has this year seen 800 students across Ireland engaging in a potentially lifesaving project as part of Road Safety Reimagined.

The event highlighted that 30% of people killed on Irish roads in the first three months of the year were aged between 16 and 25 - with drink driving, drug driving and speeding continuing to be among the primary causes of serious collisions on Irish roads.

Students from UL, South East Technological University, and Maynooth University were tasked with "thinking outside of the box” to develop contemporary marketing concepts and solutions to positively impact driving behaviour.

This year the initiative focused on the dangers of drug driving, channeling the collective power of students to devise a campaign that would resonate with their peers.

A showcase of posters of the students’ work was unveiled at the University of Limerick today, with winning teams presented with Lifesaver Awards from An Garda Síochána, while prize money worth €8,000, sponsored by ESB, was awarded to the successful students.

The overall winning concept was devised by students from Maynooth University. Entitled ‘Chances of you getting home safe aren’t as high as you are’, they utilized an image of a dice to stress the unpredictability of drug driving.

The winning students, Klaudia Pasternak, Victory Omorodion, Saoirse Smith, Eamonn Kane, and Elizabeth Imole, will now work with An Garda Síochána’s Communications team to create a campaign incorporating their idea.

A special ESB Inspiration Award was presented to road safety campaigners Gillian and Ronan Treacy, whose four-year-old son Ciarán was killed in a head-on collision with a drunk driver in April 2014. Gillian, who was also seriously injured in the collision, her husband Ronan, the emergency services who attended the collision and the medical team who fought to save Ciarán’s life all featured in the Road Safety Authority’s (RSA) ‘Crashed Lives’ ad campaign in 2016. Mrs Treacy was also appointed as a Board Director with the RSA in 2018.

Sergeant Tony Miniter, Limerick Roads Policing, and Dr Christina O'Connor, Associate Professor in Marketing at UL, co-founded the Road Safety Reimagined initiative in 2023.

Speaking at the event, Sergeant Miniter said, "You the students are the power behind this. You were challenged to think outside the box, there are very intelligent people working in marketing campaigns across the world but we challenged you to look at this because it is your friends, your colleagues affected by this. It is you and the environment you are in where people take drugs and drive, and the consequences can be catastrophic.

"This is also about generating a conversation, around not wanting to take drugs and drive - not because the guards might catch you but because you don’t want to. Huge credit is due to you all. Take that work that you have done and let it be part of your conversation and your life”.