Thousands of young people to attend road safety events

Mon 3 Nov, 2014

Thousands of sixth-formers and college students from Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes will be attending performances of a potentially life-saving road safety presentation this month. 

Safe Drive Stay Alive explores the circumstances that can lead to a car crash and the consequences that follow. Morning and early afternoon presentations take place at the Wycombe Swan Theatre on Tuesday 18 and Wednesday 19 November, and at the Ridgeway Centre in Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes, on Thursday 27 and Friday 28 November.

The central theme is a film showing four young people on a night out, who are involved in a serious crash. As the events unfold, members of the emergency services arrive at the scene and deal with the incident. 

When the film pauses, real members of those emergency services, as well as hospital accident and emergency staff, parents and young people, appear on stage.

They talk about real-life crashes that they have dealt with, lost a loved one in or been involved in, and how it has affected them personally. 

Speaking at this year’s event will be a young woman who has been left with permanent scars and life-changing injuries as the result of a collision. She will be joined by a young man who has lost both of his legs in the fire which engulfed his car following a crash. 

The presentations are organised and run by all the emergency services across the Thames Valley, along with hospital accident and emergency staff and local authority road safety teams. The event is aimed at new or pre-drivers to educate them about the importance of being safe on the road.

Keith Wheeler, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service’s road safety manager, has been involved in the organisation of Safe Drive Stay Alive since its inception nine years ago, and goes into schools and colleges to deliver follow-up sessions to students. 

He said: “On average, young drivers account for one in four deaths on the road. People in the 17 to 24 age group are particularly vulnerable, partly due to their inexperience, but also because of issues such as peer pressure and drink- or drug-driving. 

“It’s tremendously rewarding to hear from the young people just how much these presentations have made them think about the issues involved. If we can save just one life, then all the effort will have been worthwhile.”

Click here to go to the Safe Drive Stay Alive website.

Breakdown of injury collisions, including fatal and serious injury, last year

  • Buckinghamshire: 1,070 (290 involved a driver aged 17-24)
  • Milton Keynes: 707 (181 involved a driver aged 17-24)
  • Thames Valley total: 5,190 (1,370 involved a driver aged 17-24)