Crash demon­stra­tion to warn young driv­ers

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - ELECTION RESULTS -

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

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