Harley testament to safety

GAY BYRNE’S Harley Davidson is proof positive that a local authority motorcycle training programme earned the top Irish Road Safety Endeavour Award — there’s not a scratch on it.

Gaybo’s gleaming classic black and chrome machine, purchased recently by businessman Harry Crosbie for €30,000 at a recent charity auction, is on display in the front window of the Dublin rock venue, Vicar Street.

Gaybo is one of thousands of motorcyclists who participated in the Star Rider programme developed by Fingal County Council that topped the roll of honour at the Irish Road Safety Endeavour Awards. He took the Gold Star or advanced course for experienced riders after receiving the motorbike, a Late Late Show retirement present from Bono and Larry Mullen of U2. And Gaybo was only excited and delighted to present the top safety award to Seamus Kelly, road safety officer with Fingal County Council, who established the Star Rider programme in 1990. Mr Kelly said he developed the programme because of an absence of compulsory basic training for novice motorcycle riders. Between 1992 and 2002, 564 motorcyclists were killed in Ireland. Most were men aged between 18 and 24 years. Many had no formal training.

The training course is run on a part-time basis at weekends. Mr Kelly said it was focused on quality rather than quantity. It now has 13 highly-trained instructors, some of whom have Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents qualifications. Speaking at the awards ceremony in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham in Dublin, National Safety Council chairperson Eddie Shaw said all of the achievement winners had showed that they were not prepared to accept as a fact of life the avoidable death and injury on our roads. Category winners included the Aisling Challenge run by the Mayo Division of An Garda Síochána to encourage transition year students to develop solutions to the problems of road safety, underage drinking and drug abuse in their area. Another category winner was How’s My Driving by Tom O’Sullivan, a company that allows more than 25 commercial fleets to keep a track of the behaviour of their drivers with a highly visible sign on the back of their vehicles.

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War of Independence Podcast

A special four-part series hosted by Mick Clifford

Available on
www.irishexaminer.com/podcasts

Commemorating 100 years since the War of Independence