Jul 6 2011 by Kieran Westbrook, Dumfries Standard Wednesday
Shocking car crash event used for safety campaign
A ROAD safety project that uses shock tactics to drive home its message has been hailed a success.
School children watched as firefighters, police officers and ambulance staff spoke graphically about their experiences of car crashes. There was also speakers from the Procurator Fiscal’s office and the NHS.
And the impact of the Safe Drive Stay Alive event was clear to see.
St Joseph’s College pupils attended the event held at Dumfries and Galloway College on Monday. They entered an auditorium with blaring dance music playing before the lights went out and the mood changed. By the midway point a child had left to be sick and others were in tears.
But it is a strategy that those involved reckon will make the difference in years to come.
PC Jane Dunbar said: “It needs to be hard-hitting for it to get through to them. We have had a huge amount of positive feedback from the schools and parents. It isn’t pleasant, but it isn’t meant to be. It’s to save lives.”
One man it has had a big impact on is Darren Morton, 18, who was in the audience. He is a young driver invited to attend as he had recently left school. And he reckons it has completely changed his view on driving.
He said: “I have never known something to change my views so drastically so quickly. I was really taken aback.
“When I left and drove home, I felt like a newly qualified driver again – I was so cautious and careful. It has really made an impression on me and I would seriously recommend it to anyone.”
Teacher Shona McNaught said: “It is exactly what is needed and I am very much behind it. It will save lives.”
The police wish to thank Dumfries and Galloway College and the Buccleuch Centre in Langholm.
The scheme is to be held in the west of the region next year with a return to Dumfriesshire the following year.