TTE teamed up with Cleveland Fire Brigade and Cleveland & Durham Police to deliver an intensive session in driving and road safety for around 200 young people.
The dangers of drink/drug driving, speeding, driving while distracted and not wearing seatbelts, known as the fatal four, were highlighted by the emergency services and local authority road safety teams at the day-long session at TTE’s training centre in South Bank, Middlesbrough.
The session, which was also supported by Road Safety Officers from Middlesbrough and Stockton Councils, coincided with the World Cup, which is the type of event that leads to an increase in drink and drug driving injuries. During Euro 2016, there was an increase in driving-related injuries on the day of and the day after England matches.
Among the sessions was a staged crash scene where TTE learners were extricated from a wrecked car to demonstrate the challenges both casualties and rescuers face.
TTE learners had the opportunity to take a virtual reality car journey and see first-hand the harrowing consequences of a road crash, which could have been prevented. They also tested their brake reaction times on specialist equipment, which highlights the distances a vehicle will travel before stopping in an emergency.
Traffic officers from Cleveland & Durham Police Specialist Operations Unit delivered a hard-hitting drink drive case study, which showed how lives can be wrecked by driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or both.
The Camera Enforcement Team also demonstrated the latest laser speed detection equipment as part of the day designed to raise awareness of the consequences of dangerous and careless activity on the roads.
Ian Ward, TTE’s Group Health, Safety, Security, Environment and Facilities Manager, said:
“Our learners often become first-time drivers or recently began driving when they come to us and these sessions are an important part of the wider education they receive at TTE. The stark realities of the dangers of driving under the influence or acting irresponsibly in a car were clearly laid out by the fire brigade and the police and I know that our learners have taken away some very important lessons from the day.”
Andrew Bright, Cleveland Fire Brigade’s Learn and Live Co-ordinator:
“This event will give apprentices a real hands-on opportunity to learn about the key risks that can face drivers and passengers on our roads, but more importantly give them strategies to avoid the dangers that can so often wreck lives. With the World Cup tournament now underway many people will be planning to enjoy a drink or two while watching the football. We want everyone to enjoy themselves, but at the same time ensure the roads are kept safe by raising awareness of the dangers of drink-driving. The decision to drive when you’re over the limit takes just a split second, but the consequences could last a lifetime.”
Inspector Jonathan Malcolm, from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit, said:
“It is important to get these educational messages across so that we can help save lives on our roads. We work all year round to get the message across that drinking and driving don’t mix, but the summer months always present additional challenges. In fact, our research shows that June is the worst month in the calendar for incidents, which result in serious and fatal injuries. Obviously this session has been very timely due to the beginning of the World Cup, which we hope will not encourage anyone to get behind the wheel whilst intoxicated.”