Safe Drive Stay Alive

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Spreizer_ansatzoeffnung.jpg
Hydraulic rescue tool

The Safe Drive Stay Alive campaign aims to influence behaviour and attitude on the roads, by targeting new and pre-drivers in an emotive and hard-hitting way.

This is a road safety campaign partnership that links local councils and their local emergency services.

Safiah Ishfaq organised a three day event for Waltham Forest council and invited local schools and colleges to send audiences. Kiss FM’s DJ Big Ted welcomed the teenagers to a presentation of “Safe Drive Stay Alive” at the Chingford Assembly halls this week. Yes there is a film, but this is not another boring road safety film. This is an interactive presentation where members of the emergency services and people affected by traffic accidents tell the audience what it is really like to be involved in a traffic accident.
The film begins with a couple of young girls accepting a lift two boys who have been drinking and the group suffering a horrific crash. It is interspersed by talks from people telling their experiences of traffic accidents.

The first is Sharon Saudy, a paramedic who tells about a crash at the Billet roundabout. “It was carnage,” she
said. “The driver was going 80mph. He lost control and slammed the car into the concrete roundabout. The man in the back had had his bike across his lap. He was decapitated by his own bike.” The film continues with the four characters trapped in the car, waiting to be rescued by the emergency services.

A firefighter from Walthamstow graphically described attending a collision where the car involved had been trapped on its side between railings and a lamppost. Then PC Jason Clauson, who’s job it is to inform families a loved one has died, tells how “My first fatal was when I was sitting in traffic and a drunk driver hit a car side on and it flipped over. I saw something fly out of the window. It was a seven year old girl.”

Nick Bennett told the shocked audience how he had been driving without a seat belt 10 years ago when he tried to overtake a car and lost control. He had a head-on collision with a truck which nearly cost him his life. He awoke three and a half weeks later in hospital, having suffered a brain injury. He has since lost his leg due to his accident. He said: “My message is please, please, please don’t think that you can drive dangerously without suffering the consequences. Take a look at the people sitting around you. They’re your friends and they will probably be the ones to egg you on in your car to take unnecessary risks but ask yourself one question. Will those friends still come and visit you when you’re stuck in a wheelchair because mine don’t.”
The last speaker at the presentation was bereaved father, George Atkinson, who lost his 16 year old daughter when a car mounted a pavement ploughing into her.

The film ends with a roundup of the outcomes for the four victims. The audience are then free to leave, passing the participants on their way out. The experience is so hard hitting they leave in near silence. A few are in tears.

As PC Clauson said, their parents would rather get a call from them at 2 am
asking to be collected, than a call from him at 2 am saying they had been
killed.

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