‘One bad decision changed my life forever’


ALTHOUGH the number of road fatalities this year has decreased the  
public are being warned that Christmas is a time of  
year which can see a spike in terms of serious road accidents.
One person who knows the importance of road safety is Lizzie Keys. The  
Trillick woman was involved in an accident 18 years ago, suffered  
damage to her spine and was left paralysed at the age of 19.
Lizzie has been working with the PSNI Road Safety Roadshow for the  
past eight years, and bravely tells her story to packed school halls  
in the hope of saving young peoples lives, and making the roads a  
safer place.
“It is a very rewarding but it is hard to know what impact we are  
having with the audience but I always hope that if I save one life  
from every show is saved, it is an achievement. I always tell people  
that maybe if I knew more about what the long term consequences would  
be, I would not have ended up in this position.”
Lizzie’s tragic but extremely inspirational story is hard-hitting, but  
is an important story for all drivers to hear in order to understand  
how dangerous the road can be.
“My opinion is is that something bad has happened me, but hopefully by  
doing the show, I can turn it into something good.
“I have lived for 18 years with the consequences of a bad decision but  
by providing education to young people, I may stop them from doing the  
same thing.
“If I can make them stop getting into a car with an irresponsible  
driver, then I am making a difference,” added Lizzie.
  Statistics have shown that young people aged 17 to 25 are at a much  
higher risk of crashing, due to speed, loss of attention or drink  
driving. There is growing concern at the number of accident resulting  
from thoughtless use of mobile phones while driving.
  Lizzie had this to say to those who might be tempted to ‘take a  
“Just one second of distraction can change your life forever. It can  
be devastating to the drivers life, the passengers life and the  
“The devastation of a road death never goes away, and the seat at the  
Christmas dinner table is always empty.”

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