STUDENTS at St Joseph’s Catholic College learnt a hard lesson yesterday when they watched a road safety presentation.
Although Year 11 students at the school in Ocotal Way have regularly taken part in the Safe Drive Stay Alive scheme, it was the first time that the road safety partnership organisers – including members from Wiltshire and Swindon Council’s, Wiltshire Police and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue – visited the school to deliver the session.
Ian Hopkins, the road safety development manager with Wiltshire Fire and Rescue, said: “It’s a road safety demonstration aimed at the most vulnerable drivers on the road, which are young people who are aged between 16 and 24.
“It’s to help make them aware of the dangers on the road and how they can stay safe.
“We offer it to about 7,500 students around Swindon.”
The presentation involves dramatic video clips and testimonials from people who have been involved in life-changing accidents with vehicles, and the relatives and friends of people who lost their lives in road traffic collisions.
From left, crash victim Simon Johnstone, Callum, Steve Jugg of Wiltshire Fire Service, Sophie, Joe, and Plesney
The demonstration always has a significant impact on students, like 15-year-old Daniel Gil.
The Year 11 student said: “It was very hard-hitting. I have been very lucky that nobody I know personally has ever been involved in a car accident.
“The whole experience was a bit like having a freight train hit you.
“I think it’s something every young person should watch because they need to be aware of what they are doing on the road.”
Giorgia Ley and Debra Mumbi-Peterson also felt that it was very useful for young people to watch.
Giorgia said: “It showed how even the simplest thing, like putting on a seatbelt, could save your life.”
Debra said: “I think it’s really important that young people watch this because we are all going to be driving in the next few years and it’s important to know.”
Liz Vincent, the PSHE and citizenship co-ordinator at St Joseph’s said: “We show the demonstration to our Year 11 students every year.
“And it’s really valuable because very soon so many of them could be turning 17 and learning to drive.
“We teach road safety in every year because it is so important for young people to know how they can stay safe.
“This presentation wasn’t just about how to behave as a driver, but also about how your actions as a passenger can have an impact.”
For more information about the programme visit www.facebook.com/SDSA.Wilts.