Crash course in road safety

Young drivers on the road to parties, BBQ’s and beach trips this summer are getting a crash course in road safety.

They will see first-hand the dangers of drink-driving, speeding and driving while distracted as they act as casualties in a crash rescue set-up by Cleveland Fire Brigade.

It is all part of a series of safety events being driven home to engineering apprentices across Teesside by emergency services and local road safety teams at the TTE Technical Training Group Training Centre, South Bank, Middlesbrough on Tuesday, July 12 (10.30am).

Officers from Cleveland and Durham Police Specialist Operations will be on-hand with the latest speed recording camera unit and local authority road safety officers will give students the chance to test their braking reactions on specialist equipment and also experience the dangers posed by distracted driving. Traffic officers will also go through the procedures for testing for drink and drug driving.

This hands-on event builds on the road safety advice trainees have already received through Cleveland Fire Brigades Learn and Live programme.

The event backs the key messages of the current Road Safety GB North East drink drive campaign which aims to raise awareness about the dangers of drink driving, influence driver behaviour and ultimately reduce accident and casualty figures.

Andrew Bright, Learn and Live co-ordinator, said: “Young road users fall into a high risk group and although the majority behave responsibly on the roads we just want to drive home the consequences of getting it wrong as many people tragically don’t get a second chance.

“For those drivers about to enjoy a summer break this is a timely reminder of how to stay safe on the roads. We don’t want to put a dampener on young people going out enjoying themselves but our message is to have a travel plan that will keep you and your friends safe.

“This could be having a designated driver who won’t be drinking alcohol or arranging a taxi or lift home. Just as important is the morning after, if you have been drinking the night before you could still be well over the limit for your drive to work. Remember, you don’t have to be drunk to be a dangerous driver.

“We attend all too many road traffic collisions every year that could have been avoided but for drivers taking unnecessary risks. They put themselves, their friends and family in danger as well as other road users. We all have a part to play in keeping our roads safe and to look out for each other.”

Steve Grant, Managing Director of TTE, said: “Safety is at the heart of everything we do at TTE and it important for all our learners to receive guidance and instruction on how to stay safe, whether that’s in the workplace or on the roads. This opportunity to take part in an activity that teaches them to manage road-related risk as they start their careers is hugely beneficial.”

Between 2011 and 2015, 42 people were killed on the region’s roads due to a suspected drink driver, 263 were seriously injured and a further 1,424 suffered minor injuries. In 2015 alone, 70 people were killed or seriously injured – the highest number for five years.