Young people are priority for road safety campaign

FIREFIGHTERS in Cleveland will be reaching out to children and young people during National Road Safety Week (6-12 May) in a bid to reduce the number of people killed or injured on our roads.

Cleveland Fire Brigade is backing the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) national campaign which aims to reduce the 453 pedestrian deaths on Britain’s roads last year and the 5,500 people who were seriously injured. The campaign coincides with the United Nations Global Road Safety Week.

Figures for Cleveland show that from April 2012 to March 2013 130 people were seriously injured as a result of road traffic collisions with 10 fatalities.

As a forerunner to the campaign, firefighters will be visiting Middlesbrough College on Thursday 2 May between 11.30am and 2pm along with Middlesbrough Council’s Road Safety Team and the Cleveland & Durham Specialist Operational Support (Road Policing) to drive home key safety messages to young drivers including the dangers of using a mobile phone while driving.

Other colleges to receive a visit from firefighters during the campaign include Hartlepool College of Further Education, Stockton Riverside College and Redcar & Cleveland College.

In an effort to reach out to the wider community, firefighters will also be visiting retail parks and several Cleveland schools.

On Tuesday 7 May between 10am and 2pm the Brigade will team up with Cleveland Police and council road safety officers at Cleveland Retail Park, South Bank where they will be talking to shoppers and giving out advice.

Andrew Bright of Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “The Brigade attends dozens of road traffic incidents every year and our officers witness the trauma first-hand that casualties go through.

“During National Road Safety Week there will be two main messages we will be aiming to get across to young people. The first one is ‘Don’t let distraction lead to destruction’ which is centred around the use of using mobile phones while driving and the second is ‘Let’s look out for each other’ where the focus will be on pedestrians.

“Campaigns like this provide an opportunity to reach out to local people and remind them that they can stay safe if they follow some basic rules.”

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