Teesside apprentices on course for road safety

19105896_1562331310458357_6858038295923212909_nYoung drivers have received a crash course in road safety and warned to take extra care as they celebrate the end of exams and the start of the summer holidays.

The dangers of drink-driving, speeding, driving while distracted and not wearing seatbelts – known as the Fatal Four – were driven home to some 100 engineering apprentices from across Teesside by the emergency services and local authority road safety teams at the NETA Apprentice Training Centre in Stockton.

Cleveland Fire Brigade, with students acting as drivers and passengers, staged a crash scene.

The event backs the summer drink and drug driving campaign launched by Cleveland and Durham Police Specialist Operations Unit this month and follows on from road safety advice to young people in Cleveland Fire Brigade’s Lean and Live programme

During the campaign last summer, 66 people tested positive for driving whilst being under the influence of alcohol and 24 for driving under the influence of drugs.

The apprentices also got the chance to have a go on a driver simulator which shows the dangers of driving while under the influence or distracted as well as testing their braking reactions on specialist equipment.

Traffic officers from Cleveland and Durham Police Specialist Operations presented a graphic case study of a tragic loss of a young life through drink-driving and went through the procedures for testing for drinking and drug driving.

The Police Safety Camera Team also profiled the latest laser speed detection equipment used to help keep our roads safer.

Andrew Bright, Cleveland Fire Brigade’s Learn and Live Co-ordinator:  “Drivers taking alcohol or drugs can put lives at risk. As well as affecting reaction times, reducing concentration and causing impaired vision, drivers can also become more relaxed and drowsy and could fall asleep at the wheel.

“We are asking drivers to think and plan ahead if they are going out and drink is involved. Leave the vehicle at home and take a taxi or have a designated driver who isn’t drinking. Remember, if you have been drinking the night before you could still be well over the limit on your next journey.

“Passengers also have an important role to play not only to keep themselves safe but their friends who might be driving. We all can play a part in keeping our roads safe and Look Out For Each Other.”

Jim Hubbard, Interim Operations Director, NETA, said: “We are delighted to once again support Cleveland Fire Brigade in the delivery of key road safety messages to the public. NETA recognise that it is important that all our learners receive guidance and instruction on how to stay safe. To have the opportunity to take part in activities that educate them to manage road-related risks as they start their careers is considered to be hugely beneficial to our learners.”