Members of the Tipperary Road Safety Working Together Group (RSWTG) with the new Virtual Reality Display Headsets kindly sponsored by Aviva Driving School.
Standing: Superintendent Pat Murphy, Thurles Division; Superintendent Pat O’Connor Tipperary District; Eamon Lonergan, Acting Director, Roads, Transportation and Health & Safety, Tipperary County Council; Liam Brett, Senior Engineer, Roads, Tipperary County Council; Dave Carroll, Chief Fire Officer, Tipperary Fire & Rescue Services
Seated: Michèle Maher, Road Safety Officer, Tipperary County Council, Fiona Kavanagh Road Safety Promotion Officer, RSA; Fiona Bohane TII Regional Road Safety Officer; Mary Murphy Roads Department, Tipperary County Council
Photograph by Seamus Bourke
A new Road Safety Initiative involving the use of Virtual Reality (VR) technology is being rolled out in County Tipperary. Fifteen headsets have been made available to Tipperary County Council by Aviva Driving School as part of the “Your Life Your Choice” initiative. The initiative aims to promote road safety particularly among younger drivers and those who are about to start driving in the next year or two.
The VR headsets have been pre-loaded with an eight minute video which simulates a serious road collision from the perspective of a front seat passenger. The 360 degree footage was recorded in the UK last year and features full-time emergency responders and some professional actors.
Viewers witness some of the dangerous behaviours and factors associated with young drivers involved in serious collisions including mobile phone use, speed, stopping distance and driver distraction. They also witness, from the front passenger seat, the immediate aftermath of being involved in a serious collision from when the first responders arrive on the scene.
“It is an eight minute road safety clip where you are the passenger in a car and it gives you a full reality experience of what it’s like being in a crash. It’s basically using modern technology in a very effective way” said Michèle Maher, Road Safety Officer with Tipperary County Council.
Acting Director for Roads, Transportation and Health & Safety, Eamon Lonergan said “Any initiative which encourages people, particularly young people, to be more responsible behind the wheel is to be welcomed”.
Road Safety staff will be available to visit second level schools as part of the rollout of this initiative. Further information can be obtained from the Road Safety Section of Tipperary County Council at 0761 06 5000.