Signing the pledge for Road Safety Week

Media opportunities: Reporters/photographers/film/radio crews are welcome to attend any of the below scheduled venues.

Friday, 25 November – Hartlepool FE College – simulated crash scene rescue involving students being rescued from a vehicle by operational fire crews from Stranton Fire Station. (12.20pm)

Cleveland Fire Brigade is urging young drivers to sign a pledge to help them stay safe on the roads.

The six-point promise – Slow, Sober, Secure, Silent, Sharp and Sustainable – includes sticking to the speed limit, never drinking and driving, wearing seatbelts and not using a mobile phone.

The pledge is also a commitment to regular eye tests and cycling, walking or using public transport whenever possible.

It comes as part of Road Safety Week (Nov 21 – 27) with firefighters, police and paramedics joining forces to give expert road safety advice to college students across Cleveland. The Pledge has been drawn-up by road safety charity Brake.

National figures show that one in four 18-24 year-olds are involved in a crash within two years of passing their driving test and young drivers are our times more likely to be involved in a crash than other drivers.

This risk increases when you have a car full of friends. Young drivers and riders were involved in 29% of all injury collisions in the North East between 2011-2015. During that period, 38 young drivers were killed and 440 were seriously injured.

The first session took place at Middlesbrough FE College on Monday, 21 November with firefighters, police and paramedics, sharing their experiences dealing with road traffic crashes and giving advice on how to stay safe and encourage students to Look Out For Each Other.

Students at Middlesbrough College were also given taster driving sessions with instructors from the AA Driving School supported by Middlesbrough Road Safety team and advice on the “show me, tell me” part of the driving test.

Cleveland Fire Brigade’s “Learn and Live” programme drives home the Fatal Four top reasons for injury and deaths on the roads – speeding, driving while distracted, not wearing seatbelts and alcohol and drugs.

Andrew Bright, Cleveland Fire Brigade’s Learn and Live Co-ordinator, said: “Although the majority of young people are responsible road users, some can be a high risk on the roads and it is vital that we help steer them in the right direction when it comes to road safety.

 “Friends can make a big contribution to road safety and should feel confident to speak-up as passengers when they see driver behaviour that could be putting lives in danger. Our message is be a good mate and look out for each other on the road – failing to act or saying nothing in a risky situation could result in a life changing event for someone which just might have been preventable.”

Zoe Lewis, Principal and Chief Executive of Middlesbrough College, said: “We are pleased to host the launch of this important campaign.

“The college is committed to helping young people make the choices that allow them to go on and reach their potential.

“We want to make sure our students and all young people across the region stay safe on the roads.”

More than 85,000 students across Cleveland have experienced the Learn and Live Road Safety programme since its introduction in 2005.

Cleveland Fire Brigade is asking young people to make the Brake Pledge by going to www.roadsafetyweek.org/pledge