Facing the reality – bad driving kills
8:40am Friday 4th October 2013 in News
YOUNGSTERS came face to face with the horrors that can be caused by dangerous driving yesterday in a film screening yesterday.
It was part of a campaign being run by Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to highlight the impact of severe car crashes.
Pupils from New College and Dorcan Academy left the auditorium in stunned silence after listening to members of the emergency services who have dealt with serious accidents as well as the victims and families.
The campaign has been running for seven years and organisers hope to speak to every Year 11 pupil in Swindon annually.
Almost every school in Swindon will have attended the show by Christmas.
Ian Hopkins, the road safety manager for Wiltshire Fire and Rescue, said: “This has a real impact on children who have often become very de-sensitised through television and computer games.
“Telling teenagers what not do is one thing and they quite often don’t take much notice.
“We’re not telling them how to behave but showing them directly what the consequences are if they don’t drive safely.”
They heard the harrowing experiences of those who have been first on the scene at fatal accidents and how the consequences have remained with that person many years after the event.
Ian said: “Everything we tell them is true and actually happened, which helps it stick in their minds. We know road deaths are one of the biggest risks and yet there is nothing in the curriculum, so this is the gap we are trying to fill.”
One of the speakers was Clare Brixey, whose son Ashley was killed in a car accident in 2004 aged 20. She believes the show is absolutely vital and every youngster should hear it.
“I felt there was a desperate need for the year 11 group to hear about the dangers they face on the roads,” said Claire.
“When my son died it was becoming an epidemic of deaths so something had do be done.
“It is the year just before they decide whether to leave school so we target as many students as possible.
“You can see by the way the children react when they come out just how much of an impact it has had on them.”
Many of the pupils said they were shocked by what they had seen, with many wiping tears away, such was the effect of the show.
Andrew Holt, 15, of Dorcan Academy, said: “I thought it was an excellent way to get the message across.
“After watching that it will make me a lot more careful when I come to drive. I’ll be telling my friends about it.”
Georgia Henly, 15, also of Dorcan Academy, found the show very powerful.
“It was certainly very hard-hitting. It’s a much better way of informing people than adverts.”
For more information about the campaign, visit www.facebook.com/SDSA.Wilts
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