Ramming home the message
PUBLISHED: 10:41 23 November 2006 | UPDATED: 11:14 06 May 2010
FIREFIGHTERS used shock tactics in Letchworth GC to make young people aware of the dangers of driving. Two recent road deaths prompted the White Watch crew at Letch-worth and Baldock fire station to take shock action. They positioned a smashed-up car on t
FIREFIGHTERS used shock tactics in Letchworth GC to make young people aware of the dangers of driving.
Two recent road deaths prompted the White Watch crew at Letch-worth and Baldock fire station to take shock action.
They positioned a smashed-up car on the pavement outside the HSBC Bank on Saturday, set up a PA system playing drum and bass music and floodlit the scene.
Performing arts students from North Hertfordshire College played the part of crash victims, made to look badly injured by the media make-up department.
Young people were then stopped on the street and quizzed on their thoughts about the scene.
Since September 1 White Watch have attended 21 crashes which have resulted in nine serious injuries as well as the two deaths.
Crew members are urging people to take better care of themselves while in a car, and always use the seatbelts.
Simon "Ronnie" Barker, 46, was one of the fire team who initiated the project and is urging people to be safe over the coming holiday period.
He said: "Approaching Christmas and the New Year period, the emergency services do not want to be attending your party."
He was helped by colleagues Tom Barratt, 25, and Sean Costello, 34, in getting the public to see at close quarters the result of dangerous driving.
Their message enforces the need to wear seatbelts and to not use mobiles, drink or drugs if driving. The firefighters also urge people to use public transport, taxis or a friend as a duty driver if necessary.
Helen Godsave, the county road safety officer, spoke to people at the scene and handed out leaflets. She said: "The event was really successful and we would definitely consider holding something similar again in the county.
"We attracted crowds of young people who were interested in the advice we were giving out."
County councillor Keith Emsall, executive member for community safety, said: "It is important to educate young people about driving safely and this event was designed to do just that. The car crash demonstration is very powerful because it is so realistic."
Students Glen Brett, 20, Deanna Morse, 19, Nick Lipinski, 19 and Lauren Brede, 20, braved the cold to highlight the issue.
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