A GROUP of youngsters spent Saturday taking part in a hands-on training day to learn about road safety and how to react to a traffic accident.

They were at Stratton Fire Station where fire officers, led by the Red Cross, provided a unique course, which it is hoped can soon be rolled out across the county.

It taught the teenagers how to deal with an accident, using a smashed car in the yard of the fire station, so they could see for themselves what a crash scene might look like.

They were taught safety advice and given the opportunity to call 999 to get a feel of what it would be like in a real situation.

Jo Riches, of the Wiltshire Red Cross, was leading the event and is hoping to get funding to hold more.

She said: “We are looking to speak to teenagers shortly before they start driving so they have an appreciation of the dangers and how to react to them. What we want to do is make the most high risk people aware by teaching them how to keep themselves safe. “By giving them this experience we help to stop young people getting killed on the roads.

“Talking to them in the classroom has its place but this way we can give some kind of demonstration as to what a car accident might look like so they have some idea of how to react.”

The course was run in partnership with Wiltshire Fire And Rescue, who think the course is vital in helping to keep youngsters safe, as drivers, passengers and road users in general.

Watch manager Dave Adamson said: “What is also important is that people know how to react safely if they come across an accident. “It is something which is wired into us as firefighters to make sure the scene is safe before we look to remove and help any casualties.

“We recently saw what can happen on the M1 when a passer-by stopped to help but was killed himself. This is something else which we will teach them today.”

The sessions are designed for groups of six. Among those who attended on Saturday was 16-year-old Josh Palfreeman, who said: “It has been a good day. It is good for making us aware of the dangers and certainly has more of an impact than just being told about it in the classroom.”