The course comes in the week that Road Safety GB (NE) launched its Young Driver campaign which is supported by road safety practitioners across the region and is encouraging young people to be Good Mates and Look Out for Each Other when using the road.
Throughout the day the Brigade supported by Cleveland & Durham Police Specialist Operations delivered advice through the Learn & Live programme to all year 11 students and they were given the opportunity to experience first-hand how firefighters tackle the freeing of occupants trapped in a crashed vehicle. The students not only learned about the dangers of drink-driving, speeding, driving while distracted and not wearing a seatbelt , known as the ‘Fatal Four’ but also the potential consequences of making the wrong choices and not keeping safe.
Andrew Bright, Learn and Live Co-ordinator, said: “Our audience are the drivers of the future and some will already be increasingly travelling in vehicles with older friends. We urge young people to be sensible and to take responsibility for each other. If the driver is acting irresponsibly, tell them to stop. If the passenger is distracting the driver, do something about it. Good mates do what’s right and look out for each other.
“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.
“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”.
Chrissy Gargett, Head of Citenzship, Trinity Catholic College, said: “The Learn and Live programme has been a very successful part of our Citizenship studies over recent years. It helps pupils develop personal strengths such as self-esteem and resilience. Building pupil’s confidence and competence in one aspect of staying safer will help them to use those strengths in other situations that they face as they become young adults.”
The latest statistics show that young people are four times more likely to be involved in a crash than other drivers, with the risk increasing when they have a car full of friends.
Between 2011 and 2015, almost a third (29%) of road accident injuries in the region related to collisions involving young drivers aged between 17 and 24. This is despite young people accounting for only 7% of driving licence-holders.