Wednesday, 13th December 2017
TEENAGE drivers are steered to safer motoring
TEENAGE drivers have been steered to safer motoring with a day of events designed to keep them from harm on the county’s roads.
Emergency services personnel and experts from North Yorkshire County Council worked with students from Northallerton School and Sixth Form College to encourage them to adopt safe practices for drivers and passengers.
Drive Alive has helped thousands of young drivers over the years encouraging them to adopt from the start safe motoring habits and avoid the hazards which can result from inexperience, challenging country roads and excessive speed.
In this instance, lower sixth formers had sessions on drink and drug driving, collision investigation and first aid.
They also witnessed a mock crash scene in which Northallerton School and Sixth Form College business and economics teacher Kathryn Redpath was cut free from a car by firefighters.
Mrs Redpath said: “Even though this was role play, being cut out of the car was extremely scary and not nice at all. It is awful to think that collisions are the leading cause of death and injury among 15-19 year olds and if Drive Alive can prevent a single incident then it has been worthwhile.”
In a hard-hitting session, students heard from the parents of Daniel Warin who crashed his car after swerving to avoid wildlife and died of his injuries just three weeks after passing his test.
The 17-year-old had been returning from a night at the cinema and had just dropped off his girlfriend when the accident occurred near Pickering. His parents Janet and David alerted the authorities and searched in vain when he failed to return home. Police eventually found the car through a hedge.
Mr Warin told students: “It wasn’t drink, it wasn’t drugs, it wasn’t speed; it was a lack of experience. He wasn’t used to driving, he wasn’t sure how to react if something happened.”
Mrs Warin told students of the ripple effect of her son’s death which had impacted on his brother Neil, his friends, the sports clubs he was involved with, the school, the police firefighters and the doctor, who all knew him. Even his driving instructor felt guilty.
The Warins urged students to learn to drive but to do so carefully and safely.
North Yorkshire County Council’s Road Safety Officer Kevin Pratt said, inevitably, there was a focus on road accidents as students needed to be aware of what were everyday occurrences on the nation’s roads.
He added: “It is a reality that young drivers and their passengers are involved in a high proportion of road traffic collisions, mainly due to their inexperience, taking undue risk and being distracted by either mobile phones or other passengers.
“Quite simply, we are asking them to drive sensibly, take responsibility for themselves and their passengers and for everyone in the car to act sensibly, making sure seatbelts are worn by everyone at all times.”