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Crash Reduction Roadshow staged for high school students 25 April 2007

STUDENTS at the Queen Elizabeth II High School in Peel were shown shocking images and videos by police officers and firefighters on Thursday (April 19).

Crash Reduction Roadshow at QE2Many of the pictures were of actual road accidents or their victims and were the most graphic part of the Crash Reduction Roadshow. It was the first time the presentation has been staged at a school with the aim of targeting young drivers.

Fire Service Sub Officer Steve Cretney and Inspector Derek Flint of the Roads Policing Unit led the presentation. Inspector Flint explained:

‘This is the first time the police and Fire Service have come together to take the Crash Reduction Roadshow to a school. Previously we’ve acted unilaterally, doing our own thing although working closely together. The reaction we’ve had is that it’s impactive and makes them think – and that’s the underlying road safety message. I think it has been a huge success and we’ll try to drive it forward in the next few months.’

Sub Officer Cretney gave the year group the most recently compiled crash statistics (January 2001 to August 2006). In that period, the Island had 5,809 crashes. Forty-eight of these were fatal, which is nearly one per month. In addition, 402 were serious and 631 involved excessive speed. Significantly, 24% (14) involved people under 20 years old. And males are twice as likely to be involved in a road traffic collision.

After the presentation, students witnessed a ‘casualty’ being cut out of a crashed car on the school grounds. Stephanie Twist, 16, said: ‘I thought it was really horrible and it made me think about driving safely. It’s really worrying what a lack of concentration can result in. I will definitely be taking more care when driving.’

Michelle Cain, also 16, has a driving lesson next week. She commented:

‘I found the presentation very moving. I have nephews and nieces the age of the toddler who was crushed by a car in one of the reconstructions and it brought tears to my eyes. I’ll definitely take more care when driving and I’m definitely not drinking and driving.’

Coral Baker, 15, was hit by a car at the age of 11 when she walked out onto the road behind a school bus. She said:

‘During the presentation I kept getting flashbacks. I have a bad back because of the accident but I feel very lucky to have escaped so lightly. The presentation made me feel I never want to drive faster than 30mph. It really hits hard.’

Arran O’Neill, 16, was delighted to be given the sun visor from the crashed car for his own 1993 Proton GL. He said:

'It was interesting but it scares you if you are driving. I’m learning and will definitely take more care and concentrate on what I’m doing.’

Tony Fallon, Assistant Head of Key Stage 4, has asked the roadshow to return to the high school in September for Year 11 and the 6th form. He said:

'It was a fantastic presentation and an invaluable experience for pupils. Let’s hope they learn from it.’

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