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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Unique driving experience supports road safety campaign

Young motorists in Staffordshire are being offered a unique driving experience as part of an innovative road safety campaign. 

"The events will drive home a vital road safety message and one that I really hope the young people take on board."

Staffordshire County Councillor Mike Maryon

Teenagers from across the county will be taking to the wheel of a Mini Cooper simulator to feel the effects of driving with under inflated tyres. 

The Under Pressure tour aims to highlight the importance of the correct tyre pressure for improving grip on the road, increasing the life of tyres and cutting fuel consumption. 

Drivers aged 16 – 25 are some of the most at risk motorists on the roads. 

The latest figures for Staffordshire show that between November 2007 and October 2010, 10,608 people were involved in road accidents and 3,375 (32 per cent) of those were aged 16 to 25. 

Staffordshire County Councillor Mike Maryon, Cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said: "The beauty of this campaign is that it will really capture the attention of young people and make a lasting impression on them.  

"Allowing teenagers to get behind the wheel of the simulator and experience for themselves how different it feels when tyres are properly inflated and when they are not properly inflated could have lifesaving consequences in the future.  

"Staffordshire has the safest roads in the UK and it is thanks to initiatives such as this one. Innovative and exciting hands on experiences like this are key to making a big impact on behaviour. The events will drive home a vital road safety message and one that I really hope the young people take on board."

Corinne Li, Project Leader at Michelin, said: "We are very pleased to be involved in this ROSYPE project as talking to young people about road safety today is a crucial part of ensuring that tomorrow's drivers do not become casualty statistics in the future. The Mini simulator is a great way for us to get this message across as it allows drivers to experience driving an unroadworthy car in complete safety.

"It also reinforces Michelin's Fill Up With Air campaign which tours the UK educating motorists on the negative environmental and safety implications of driving on under-inflated tyres."

The series of workshops are being run in partnership with Staffordshire County Council and Michelin, which is based in Stoke on Trent, and supports the campaign for Road Safety for Young People in Europe. 

Students aged 16 and above from across Staffordshire will be attending the sessions which will take place on the following dates at the following venues:  

Stafford Fire Station - February 28, March 1 and March 2 

Stafford College – March 3, March 4, March 7

JCB Academy – March 8 and March 9 

Stoke Sixth  Form  College – March 10 and March 11 

Newcastle under Lyme  Fire Station – March 14, March 15 and March 16

Assistant Area Commander for Stafford Fire Station Paul Richins added: "The role of the fire and rescue service is to attend road traffic collisions, some of which are caused by unroadworthy cars. We’ll be holding demonstrations that involve cutting casualties free from crashed vehicles - these will be very hard hitting as they will show just how serious car crashes can be."