Apprentices and students at NETA Training were given an important lesson in road safety today.
The event saw emergency service personnel from Cleveland Fire Brigade, Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit (CDSOU) and the road policing unit visit the Stockton centre, bringing with them a host of interactive activities.
From seeing fire fighters cut a brave volunteer from a car to testing their own brake response times, the demonstrations hammered home the dangers of drink-driving, speeding, driving while distracted and not wearing seat belts – known as the Fatal Four.
Ruth Thompson, Casualty Reduction Co-ordinator for CDSOU, said: “We work with young people because they often tend to be over-represented in collisions. This can be due to inexperience, attitudes or even that sense of invincibility.”
By reaching out to new and learner drivers she said: “Our aim is to get the young people to think about potential consequences.”
The event also included a driving simulator from Middlesbrough Council which shows the dangers of driving while under the influence or distracted and a short film documenting a real life accident that took two lives.
“This is a multi-partnership event working together as part of the Cleveland Casualty Reduction Group to bring down road injuries,” said Ruth.
The NETA event also coincided with CDSOU’s summer drink and drug driving campaign.
NETA Engineering student Bradley Littlewood, 16, said: “Today has been really productive. I don’t drive yet but this has given me an insight into what can happen if you make a mistake in a car.”
Mechanical Engineering Apprentice Callum Harris volunteered to be cut free from the car. He said: “It does make you think.”
Andrew Bright, Cleveland Fire Brigade’s Learn & Live Co-ordinator, said: “Drivers taking alcohol or drugs can put lives at risk. As well as affecting reaction times, reduced concentration and impaired vision, drivers can also become more relaxed and drowsy and could fall asleep at the wheel.
“We are asking drivers to think and plan ahead if going out socialising and drink is involved. Leave the vehicle at home and take a taxi or have a designated driver who isn’t drinking. Remember if you have been drinking the night before you could still be well over the limit on your next journey.
“Passengers also have an important role to play not only to keep themselves safe but their friends who might be driving. We all can play a part in keeping our roads safe and Look Out for Each Other.”