Education, Outreach and Events

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

Traffic Medicine Research Webinar 2022

On 5 May 2022, we held our annual Traffic Medicine Research Seminar  through Zoom Webinar with 95 attendees from 11 regions including Ireland, Portugal, Poland, Canada 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. An international group of researchers from Ireland, the UK and USA presented on topics such as epilepsy and driving, risk-taking and driving and fitness to drive asessment. 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.

A full list of speakers and topics can be found below as well as a recording of the webinar.

Presentation speaker
Multimorbidity and Driving Dr Jeanette Lynch
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (UK)
Examining the impact of driving restriction on
patients with epilepsy in Ireland
Dr Stephen Klaus
Neurology Registrar (Beaumont Hospital)
Long Covid: The Long Road Ahead Ms Rachel Coomey
4th Year Undergraduate student, TCD
Winner Mary Ward Essay Competition 2022
Long-term effects of cannabis and fitness-to-drive
in young populations
Ms Neha Siddhartha
5th Year Undergraduate student (NUIG)
Rethinking Cell Phone Use While Driving as Part of
a Pattern of Risk-Taking
Dr Elizabeth Walshe
Neuroscience of Driving Programme
Centre for Injury Research & Prevention,
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Predictors Of Driving Status in Older Irish Adults
Attending a Geriatric Outpatient Service
Dr Kevin Moloney
Medicine for the Elderly Registrar (St. James Hospital)
Fitness to Drive Assessments – Analysing the Data
in England & Wales
Dr Anuraj Varshney
Driving Mobility (UK)

Traffic Medicine Clinical Update 2022

On 24 March 2022, we held our annual Traffic Medicine Clinical Update online. This year’s Clinical Update was entitled  Transport as a Vector of Health and Wellbeing. The event was chaired by our Director, Professor Desmond O' Neill and featured experts in the fields of transport and health from the UK, Finland and the USA. An international cohort of 140 attendees joined the live session. The event ended with an interactive questions and answers session. A full list of speakers and talk titles can be found below, along with a recording of the event.

Presentation speaker
The importance of transport and mobility in relation to health and wellbeing in later life Dr Charles Musselwhite

Chair in Psychology
Aberystwyth University
Life-space mobility and active aging - transportation & context Dr Erja Portegijs

Associate professor/ Rosalind Franklin Fellow
University Medical Center Groningen
ITNCountry: Transportation for Rural and Small Communities Ms Katherine Freund

Founder and President ITNAmerica

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

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, Frederick House, 19 South Frederick Street, Dublin 2

Tel: +353 1 863 9788

Donna Noonan

Programme Coordinator, National Office for Traffic Medicine

Address: RCPI, Frederick House, 19 South Frederick Street, Dublin 2

Tel: +353 1 863 9630