Hard-hitting messages from those in the know
SIXTH-FORMERS across the county are invited to a theatre presentation at which the message of safe driving will be drummed into them.
Councils, the police and the fire brigade each year join forces to organise Safe Drive Stay Alive presentations in Buckinghamshire.
Those giving the talks are people who have been involved in crashes, officers who have seen at first hand the injuries suffered by people in collisions and family members who have lost loved ones because of road accidents. The hard-hitting presentations and videos are shown on theatre screens.
Thames Valley Police specialist unit manager Claire Benson said: “The presentations are very poignant and they get people to stop and think. Presenters talk about not getting into a car when you feel uncomfortable, having the voice to stand up and say ‘I am not getting into a car with you’. As part of the presentations, we talk about the importance of wearing a seatbelt too.”
About one in four people who are killed on the roads are between the ages of 17 and 24; last year 1,731 people aged between 16 and 19 were injured on roads in Thames Valley and Hampshire.
Mrs Benson, who works at Amersham police station, said: “We have parents come in who have lost a child and they tell very emotional stories. It would be hard for the sixth-formers not to take away a message from the presentation.
“It is about making people think.”
The presentations have been heard by 105,000 children in the past eight years. Sixth-formers usually attend with their schools or colleges.
Every year, Thames Valley Police organises a church service for people who have lost loved ones because of a road traffic accident.
Chief Inspector Colin Clark, from the join operations unit for road policing, said: “The venue is always packed. It is an opportunity for families to come together and meet other people who have been affected by road death.”
To find out more about the presentations, see www.safedrive.org.uk.