Education, Outreach and Events

Our education and outreach programmes are designed to promote awareness of medical fitness to drive standards.

Traffic Medicine Research Webinar 2021

On 6 May 2021, we held our annual Traffic Medicine Research Seminar  through Zoom Webinar with over 120 attendees from 13 regions including Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Russia and the Middle and Far East. The aim of this webinar was to provide an open forum for all those researching in areas related to Traffic Medicine. The growth of research in traffic medicine is evident from the wide range of disciplines represented including; medicine, psychology, occupational therapy, rehabilitation medicine, emergency medicine, biomechanical engineering and geomatics. The seminar was chaired by  Professor Desmond O'Neill, the  National Programme Director for Traffic Medicine.

The audience included undergraduate and postgraduate students, postdoctoral researchers, road safety stakeholders and others who have an interest in Traffic Medicine. The day ended with an interactive questions and answers session.

Presentation speaker
Potential of the Life Space Assessment (LSA) to examine levels of out of home activity among Community Dwelling Older Adults in Ireland. Dr Tadhg Stapleton
Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy, Head of Discipline in School of Occupational Therapy (TCD)
An international study of community mobility patterns of older adults  Dr Ann Dickerson
Professor of Occupational Therapy, East Carolina University
Analysis of cyclist crashes in Dublin City using Dublin Fire Brigade Emergency Response data  Niamh O’ Reilly
Lecturer in Geomatics, School of Surveying and Construction Management, TU Dublin, City Campus
Review of On-road Driving Assessment services in Ireland Dr Margaret Ryan
Programme Manager, National Office for Traffic Medicine
Epilepsy and Traffic Medicine: Are current driving restrictions for people with epilepsy discriminatory? Jane Fagan
5th Year Medical Student, UCD School of Medicine
Joint 1st Place Winner, Mary Ward Essay Prize
Adapt or perish: the driving experience in patients with rheumatoid arthritis Conor Kearns
1st Year Medical Student, RCSI School of Medicine
Joint 1st Place Winner, Mary Ward Essay Prize
Inclusion of medical fitness to drive in medical postgraduate training curricula  Aisling O’Byrne and Laith Al Azawi
3rd Year Medical Students, TCD School of Medicine
Characteristics of cyclist collisions in Ireland: Analysis of a self-reported survey Kevin Gildea
PhD researcher, Department of Mechanical, Manufacturing, and  Biomedical engineering, TCD
Documentation of medical fitness to drive discussions in patients with newly acquired traumatic brain injury Dr Marie Boland
National Rehabilitation Hospital, St. Vincent’s University Hospital.
An analysis of E-Scooter Related Trauma in Ireland Dr Margaret Grace
Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown
An early analysis of an ongoing project examining the impact of driving restrictions on patients with epilepsy Dr Stephen Klaus
RCSI, TCD, Epilepsy Ireland, Beaumont Hospital
Closing Remarks Prof Desmond O’Neill
National Programme Director for Traffic Medicine (RSA/RCPI)

Mary Ward Essay Symposia 2021

Every year, the National Office for Traffic Medicine runs the Mary Ward Essay Prize with the support of the Road Safety Authority (RSA). The aim of the prize is to raise awareness of Traffic Medicine among medical and allied health students.   This year saw a record number of entries, with thirty received covering a vast array of topics including distraction, e-bikes and scooters and Covid-19. Due to the extremely high quality of entries this year, two joint prizes were awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. A full list of winners and their prize winning entries can be found here. 

It was encouraging to see the high level of interest in this year’s competition and the exemplary standard of submissions received. In order to provide students with a platform  to showcase their work, the National Office for Traffic Medicine organised two Symposia on 20 April and 22 April. All entrants were invited to participate and present their work for their peers, traffic medicine medical professionals and road safety stakeholders. In total, 19 entrants took part. Each participant gave a short presentation of their work and a lively Q&A session was held at each Symposium. 

Panel Discussion from Mary Ward Symposium 22 April

Traffic Medicine Clinical Update 2021

On 24 March 2021, we held our annual Traffic Medicine Clinical Update online. This year’s Clinical Update focused on the National Office for Traffic Medicine's international collaborations on medical fitness to drive issues.  The event entitled International Perspectives on Traffic Medicine was chaired by our Director, Professor Desmond O' Neill and featured Medical Fitness to Drive Experts from Australia, Canada and France. Over 110 attendess joined the live session from 16 different countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and North America. The event ended with an interactive questions and answers session.

Presentation speaker
Chair and opening remarks Professor Desmond O' Neill
Director, National Office for Traffic Medicine
Legal challenges to Medical Fitness to Drive standards Dr Jamie Dow
Former Medical Advisor on Road Safety, Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec
CIECA Working group on Medical Fitness to Drive Dr Lars Englund
Chairperson of the CIECA Working group on Medical Fitness to Drive
Motor vehicle collision risk among people with psychiatric disorders Dr Mark Rapoport
Professor in Geriatric Psychiatry, University of Toronto
Acting-head of Geriatric Psychiatry for Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Collaboration on medical conditions and driving risk and how outcomes informed current review of the Australian Fitness to Drive guidelines Dr Sjaan Koppel & Prof Judith Charlton
Monsh University Accident Research Centre (MUARC)
Drink driving and alcohol interlock programmes in France Dr Charles Mercier-Guyon
Medical Doctor, Annecy, France

Scientific Meetings

Scientific Meeting: Stroke Rehabilitation and Driving with Prof Abiodun Akinwuntan

This Scientific Meeting took place on 24 January 2019 and focused on Stroke Rehabilitation and Driving and was led by Professor Abiodun Akinwuntan, Ph.D., MPH, MBA, a leading expert in this field.

Prof. Akinwuntan outlined his research and provided insights from his clinical experience with an emphasis on off-road driver assessment.

Professor Akinwuntan, is currently Dean and Professor at the University of Kansas School of Health Professions. Previously, he served as Dean for Research at the College of Allied Health Sciences and as a Professor of Physical Therapy, Ophthalmology and Neurology at Georgia Regents University in Augusta Georgia and as a senior lecturer at the University of East London. His research interests include using simulation and virtual technologies to improve daily living activities after neurological impairment and specialises in Driver Rehabilitation.

As promised, we have uploaded a webcast of Prof Akinwuntan and Prof Des O'Neill for those who could not make it in person on the day.

Prof Abiodun E Akinwuntan Presentation

Prof Desmond O'Neill Presentation

Prof Abiodun Akinwuntan

Scientific Meeting: Paediatrics and Traffic Medicine with Prof Flaura Winston

On 3 April 2019, our longtime friend and associate, Prof Flaura Winston from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia delivered the keynote address at our Scientific Meeting on paediatrics, adolescents and traffic medicine. Dr Ellen Crushell, Dean of RCPI Faculty of Paediatrics introduced Prof Winston, whose presentation included her extensive research on the safety of early airbags. 

Dr Margaret Ryan, Programme Manager at the National Office for Traffic Medicine also presented her PhD findings about pre-learner driver education and the need for this to be made available for all second-level students. Prof Alf Nicholson delivered an informative talk focusing on the welcome decline of child mortality from road traffic crashes in Ireland.  

We were pleased to be joined by so many medical practitioners, including CEO of Our Lady's Childrens Hospital, Crumlin – Prof Sean Walsh and many other health professionals.

Prof Flaura Winston Presentation - Paediatrics, Adolescent Medicine and Traffic Medicine

Prof Flaura K Winston

Scientific Meeting: Traffic Medicine & Occupational Health with Dr Natalie Hartenbaum

On 4 June 2019, we hosted Dr Natalie Hartenbaum as keynote speaker at a scientific meeting on Occupational Health and Traffic Medicine, in the Dun Library, RCPI, No. 6 Kildare St, Dublin 2.

Dr. Hartenbaum is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Preventive Medicine in Occupational Medicine and has a Master’s of Public Health in Occupational Medicine. She has been a certified Medical Review Officer since 1996. Dr. Hartenbaum has extensive experience in the clinical, corporate, and academic settings and is an internationally recognised expert in occupational fitness for duty with a special focus on transportation. 

Dr. Hartenbaum is President and Chief Medical Officer of OccuMedix, Inc, an occupational medicine consulting firm located in Dresher, PA. She is also Medical Director Sunoco, Inc, Medical Advisor Occupational Health/Chief Medical Review Officer of FirstLab and Medical Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

The scientific meeting was opened by Dr Lynda Sisson, RCPI Dean of Occupational Medicine and chaired by Dr Declan Bedford, Chair of our Working Group on Traffic Medicine. The meeting featured Dr Declan Whelan, Chief Medical Officer at the CIÉ Group, who delivered a presentation on syncope and group 2, or commercial driving. Additionally, Dr Ed Loftus, Occupational Physician at the CIÉ Group hosted a case-based discussion on 'Challenging clinical cases and fitness to drive.'

Dr Hartenbaum's presentation (available below) outlined the processes of assessing medical fitness to drive for commercial drivers in the US and was followed by a panel discussion in which medical fitness to drive standards in Ireland and the US were compared and contrasted.

Dr Natalie Hartenbaum Presentation - Commercial Driver Medical Fitness in the US

Dr Natalie Hartenbaum

Contact us

Dr Margaret Ryan

Programme Manager, National Office for Traffic Medicine

Address: RCPI, Setanta House, Setanta Place, Dublin 2

Tel: +353 1 863 9788

Donna Noonan

Programme Coordinator, National Office for Traffic Medicine

Address: RCPI, Setanta House, Setanta Place, Dublin 2

Tel: 01 8639630