A total of around 5,500 sixth-formers and college students from Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes have attended performances of a potentially life-saving road safety presentation, Safe Drive Stay Alive.
It explores the circumstances that can lead to a car crash and the consequences that follow. Morning and early afternoon presentations took place at the Wycombe Swan Theatre today and yesterday and at the Ridgeway Centre in Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes, on Wednesday and Thursday last week.
Presentations also took place in Reading on 7 and 8 November, and are due to take place in Oxford tomorrow and on Thursday.
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. Presentations include input from Watch Manager John Robinson from Red Watch at Buckingham Fire Station.
The presentations are organised and run by all the emergency services across the Thames Valley, along with local authority road safety teams.
Keith Wheeler, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service’s Road Safety Officer, has been involved in the organisation of Safe Drive Stay Alive since its inception, and goes into schools and colleges to deliver follow-up sessions to students.
He said: “Young people in the 17 to 24 age group are particularly vulnerable on the roads, 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.”