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Over 5,000 Kildare students put through road safety programme

Rotary clubs of Naas and Newbridge have put over 5,000 Kildare students through the road safety programme, ‘Just One Life’, over the past two and a half years.

The five key individuals who have made the programme a success over the past 30 months, were recognised for their efforts at an event in Naas.

Awarded were Gerry Shinners who organises and MC’s the event with extraordinary passion, Dr George Little, Consultant A&E from Naas Hospital Emergency Room who gives his very matter of fact “if you see me – you’re in trouble” talk, Garda Gary Cogan who emphatically let’s the students know that if they see him after a crash it’s probably not the worst result, but also reiterates the emotional suffering the emergency services have to go through on a regular basis – as does his colleague, also awarded, Paul O’Sullivan of Kildare Fire Brigade, who shows the students real life harrowing local footage and photographs of road traffic collisions.

Pictured L-R: Maciej Krzetowski, Stephen Maher, Carmel Kelly (Mayor of Naas), Conor Furey (Assistant Governor Rotary Ireland), Gerry Shinners and Superintendent Oliver Henry of Naas Garda Station at Just One Life in Odeon Cinema Naas.

Current president of Newbridge Rotary Club Maciej Krzetowski was also recognised for his ongoing dedication, behind the scenes work and technical expertise in the projection room.

The event was attended by over 220 students on the day, all transition year students from local Kildare secondary schools.

Speaking on behalf of Naas Rotary Club, president elect Stephen Maher (Head of Operations Novus Glass Ireland) said: “It’s great to be involved in such a fantastic programme, I look forward to working closely with Newbridge Rotary President Elect Alasdair Verschoyle to continue this success story. A special mention of thanks to outgoing Naas President Michele Furey who has been an integral part of this series of events.”

The objective of the Just One Life programme is to save young drivers lives. This is done by demonstrating the common causes of collisions to 15-17 year old students in a practical manner which they can understand and relate to.

This is a shock and awe approach. In a hard hitting no-holds-barred presentation students witness a series of shocking interactive videos and listening to the tales of experience from the various presenters.

The Just One Life programme emphasises the stark realities and often-tragic results of inappropriate driving behaviours. Students are told that most of them will be involved in a serious accident at some stage of their lives, and that they may kill or be killed while in a vehicle on the roads. It provides much food for thought for these drivers of the future, and seeks to influence the choices they will make as young driver, in the age group accepted as being most at risk of having a serious road traffic collision.

The just One Life programme in Kildare is run by the Rotary Clubs of Naas and Newbridge with support from Kildare County Council in association with An Garda Síochána, Health Service Executive and Odeon Cinemas. Plans are afoot to roll out the programme in a standardised format nationwide.