School principal urges pupils to report boy-racers

A SCHOOL principal has urged his pupils to report boy-racers to the gardaí, even if they happen to be fellow students.

Gerry Kelly, principal of Coláiste Mhuire in Buttevant, Co Cork, made his comments as his pupils got to grips with driving simulators yesterday.

He said around 70 of his 220 pupils were already eligible to drive and a number of them did so.

Mr Kelly echoed calls last week by Chief Superintendent Kieran McGann for the public’s assistance in tacking the mounting problem of boy-racers.

“Nobody can condone the people who are carrying out dangerous manoeuvres on our roads and endangering the lives and setting a bad example to others,” Mr Kelly said.

He said he was advising his pupils to approach their classmates if they see them driving dangerously and point out the risks involved.

“If they tell them this and these people don’t desist, then I’m advising them to go to the gardaí. Doing so could help save the lives of their friends and the lives of others,” Mr Kelly said.

The principal said he had employed private company Simdrive to teach his pupils about the real dangers of careless driving from the safety of a simulator.

It was the first visit by the Dublin-based company, which brought a mobile transporter fitted with six full-sized simulators to the school.

Each simulator was equipped with ignition, gears, foot pedals etc with three computerised screens showing views from the car.

Each student received a computer generated printout of their performance.

Simdrive managing director Sean Murphy said it was the first of their Learn to Drive initiatives for secondary schools.

He said onboard computer technology provided a readout of where young drivers made mistakes.

“The computers provide scores out of 10 based on a number of factors,” Mr Murphy said. These included visual skills, response times and risk-taking, he said.

The results weren’t good for the boys in Buttevant, even though many of them are drivers.

Mr Murphy said on average boys scored six out of 10, whereas the average for girls was 7.5.


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