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Hard-hitting road safety film sends stark message to young drivers

Firefighters cutting casualty out of car

The roll out of a new road safety film based on a real-life incident will send powerful messages to sixth form and college students in Northamptonshire about the potentially tragic consequences that a simple error of judgement can have when driving.

Northamptonshire Safer Roads Alliance, a partnership between Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, Northamptonshire Police, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and Kier Highways, commissioned the new road safety educational film called My Pink Trainers to raise awareness of the causes of collisions and the serious consequences these collisions could have.

The short hard-hitting film has been developed in consultation with young people and involves a road traffic collision in Northamptonshire, where a young person tragically lost their life.

In the video, the three survivors of the collision speak candidly about the incident, the aftermath and the emotional and physical impact it has had on their lives.  Body cam footage worn by emergency service personnel also shows scenes from the night of the accident and students hear how the passenger who died was identified by her distinct pink trainers.

The film was officially launched earlier this month at Brooke Weston Academy in Corby and was watched by 150 Year 12 and 13 students, who commented on how “impactful” and “real” the film was. One student said: “In films you can get a bit desensitised. When he (the driver) got emotional I looked around the room and everyone was a bit choked because it’s real life.”

Reflecting on the film, another student added: “No-one’s invincible. We all like to think we are good drivers, but we can all make mistakes. It only takes one second to mess up and potentially mess up your whole life… it could literally happen to anyone, any day!”

Newly qualified drivers and young people are the most vulnerable on Britain’s roads today, with around 20% of 16 to 24-year-olds being seriously injured or killed as a result of a road traffic collision.

Prevention, Safeguarding and Partnerships Manager at Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, Lisa Bryan, said: “This is the second film we have produced and delivered to schools on road safety, but this time we involved young people from the start of production. The intention is not to shock students, but to use a real-life incident that young people can relate to.

“I think we have achieved this with a balance of sensitive content from the night of the incident, open accounts from the survivors and the following discussions that were led by Prevention Officers, Police and NSRA.”

Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold, said: “Young people are more likely to be injured on our roads than involved in any type of crime, and I want to tackle that. We need to educate them in the way that works the best for them, makes the biggest impact and helps them to make more informed decisions when out in a car. We want to start relevant conversations that reach beyond the students themselves, to peers, parents and wider communities as well.

“Several road traffic collisions in recent weeks have tragically resulted in a fatality or serious injury. If we can reach every sixth form or college in the county and save even one life through this engagement, then we are making progress.”

Northamptonshire Police Chief Inspector Shelley Nichols, who is leading the development of a new Roads Policing Team within the Force and attended the launch, said: “One of the main points the students took from the film and discussion was around the fact that you don’t have to break the law to be convicted of ‘careless driving.’ You don’t have to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol or exceed the speed limit. A simple mistake can completely change the course of your life.”

Keith Millard, from the Northamptonshire Safer Roads Alliance, said: “Through partnership working we are committed to improving road safety in Northamptonshire and reaching out to young and new drivers is a priority in keeping motorists and passengers safe.

“I would like to thank the staff and students from Years 12 and 13 at Brooke Weston Academy who participated in the session and shared their thoughts on the film and the delivery of the discussions. I hope we can continue to roll these sessions out across all sixth forms and colleges in Northamptonshire.”

Schools and colleges interested in finding out more or booking a road safety session can contact Keith Millard at keith.millard1@kier.co.uk

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