Drive safe... stay alive

Firefighter Steve Dixon (front) with firefighters (back from left) Chris Swallow, Chris Mercer, Station Manager Neil Taylor, crew manager Mick Strickland and James Walton.

Firefighter Steve Dixon (front) with firefighters (back from left) Chris Swallow, Chris Mercer, Station Manager Neil Taylor, crew manager Mick Strickland and James Walton.

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FATAL or serious injuries have doubled on Wyre’s roads, new figures show.

And more than a quarter of those cases – 26 per cent – involved younger drivers aged between 16 and 25.

The stats show 52 people either died or were seriously injured on Wyre’s roads between April and November 2011 – 100 per cent more than the same period in 2010.

Now firefighters in Fleetwood have joined forces with the Wyre Community Safety Partnership to deliver a hard-hitting road safety message.

They are planning to take the Wasted Lives presentation to work places, colleges and high schools to bring home of the horror of serious road accidents – and explain how they can be avoided.

Neil Taylor, station officer at Fleetwood Fire Station, said: “Attending the scene of a serious road accident is a tough experience, and when a young life has been lost it is even more terrible.

“The four key factors often involved in these accidents – speed, drink, drugs and distraction or peer pressure – can be avoided, and that is what we are trying to get across. Young people killed on our roads literally do have wasted lives, and our aim is simply to try to prevent that by talking to young people. These presentations are very hard-hitting and it can be quite emotional, but we make no excuses for that, we’re trying to stop people dying.”

The presentation includes a variety of videos showing graphically realistic dramatisation of road accidents.

In one scene, a young driver is with a group of young pals on a night out when they egg him on to drive faster.

His car goes over a speed bump and crashes.

Viewers see the horrific aftermath, and the tears of loved ones.

In Lancashire, 270 young drivers are killed or seriously injured every year – and Wyre has seen the sharpest increase.

Coun Roger Berry, chairman of the Wyre Community Safety Partnership, said: “We just don’t know what the reasons are for that increase, there could be several factors, but we do know that peer pressure, speed and drink or drugs are often involved and can be prevented.

“In this campaign we are emphasising the aspect of younger drivers, so we want to get this message into as many of our high schools in Wyre as possible.”

In the past year there have been fatal accidents involving young drivers at Anchorsholme traffic lights and Garstang Road in Poulton.

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