Two police officers gave a talk on road safety to the Sixth Formers, making them aware of hazards and how they can stay safe as learner and novice drivers.
PC Keith Millard, a forensic collision investigator and family liaison officer, PC Dave Lee, both cope with the aftermath of road traffic accidents. Factors such as drink, drugs, adverse weather, excess speed, not wearing a seatbelt and using a mobile phone while driving are dangers that contribute to accident statistics, with each fatal collision costing an estimated £1.5m and every death affecting an average of 100 more of the victim’s family, friends and colleagues.
Last year there were 25 fatalities in Northamptonshire and, while the figure has decreased dramatically from a high of 106 ten years ago, the emergency services do all they can to make young drivers aware of the dangers. In a previous visit, PCs Millard and Lee were accompanied by colleagues from the ambulance and fire service to illustrate the multiple agencies involved in the aftermath of crashes.
The officers illustrated their talk with a hard-hitting video showing an accident and its effect on the victims’ families. They also demonstrated a breathalyser and brought along goggles that simulated how alcohol can impair perception.
PC Lee said: ‘It is getting the students to understand that it is a matter of life and death when they get behind the wheel. A driver is responsible if people are messing about in the car or not wearing a seatbelt. If something happens and one of them dies the next of kin are going to be looking at the driver wanting explanations.’
PC Millard added: ‘Young drivers need to take responsibility for their actions; to realise they are driving what is potentially a killing machine. Alcohol, drugs, mobile phones and driving do not go together. They have got to try and anticipate what other road users are going to do. The driving test only teaches the basics, further training is beneficial to become a safer, more proficient driver.’