Crash demonstration to warn young drivers
RESEARCH shows that one in five drivers have a crash within the first year of driving.
This has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of young people on Kent’s roads in the last three years. To help tackle this problem, a demonstration depicting a serious car crash was staged at the Elwick Road car park in Ashford last Friday evening.
Part of the multi-agency road safety campaign Operation Carmageddon, the evening set out to educate young people on the potentially horrific consequences of being involved in a serious road traffic collision.
It also aimed to encourage young drivers and passengers to be responsible for their own and others’ safety while driving.
Ashford fire station’s Green Watch manager Terry Hardie said: “Each time our crew attends the scene of a fatal road traffic collision involving a young person, I am sickened by the tragic waste of young life.”
Peer pressure can encourage bad driving and result in drivers ‘showing off’ to their passengers. The mere presence of young passengers, together with conversation, can be distracting to inexperienced drivers who should be paying close attention to the road.
Kent Fire service education manager Alexa Kersting-Woods said: “Experience tells us that young people rarely attend safety events such as open days so the campaign aims to take road safety education to places where they are already gathered.
“Ashford has a busy ring road and it is well known that young people meet nearby.”
Young drivers are more likely to seek thrills from driving fast and cornering at high speed and may be reluctant to drive under the speed limit for fear of ‘losing face’ in front of friends, she added.
But with less experience at identifying potential hazards and assessing risk, they are more likely to be involved in high-speed crashes.
The evening was held to challenge young people’s attitudes about safe driving and encourage them to question how they can keep safe when travelling, either as a driver or as a passenger.
Ashford sub-officer Terry Hardie