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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Concept car drives home potentially life-saving messages

12/05/2015

Mick Warrilow and the high-tech concept car
Mick Warrilow and the concept car

A high-tech concept car will be driving home potentially life-saving messages to young people in Tamworth.

"Young drivers are at a much higher risk of being involved in a collision than older drivers. Motorists aged 17-19 only make up 1.5 per cent of UK licence holders, but are involved in 12 per cent of fatal and serious crashes."

Tamworth Community Safety Officer Tom Osborne

The VF4 Ford Focus ST, which has been kitted out with state-of-the-art equipment to simulate the impact of a car crash, will be at Tamworth Community Fire Station on June 22.

It will form part of the ‘Fatal Four’ safety event which highlights the risks drivers face if they use a mobile phone while behind the wheel, become distracted by passengers, drive while they are under the influence of drink or drugs or speed.

Community Safety Officers will give a hard-hitting presentation to young people, their parents and driving instructors in a bid to convey the importance of driving safely and sensibly.

The young people will then be invited to sit inside the car while a DVD is played. The actors featured make a variety of mistakes, including taking a call on a mobile phone while driving and not wearing seatbelts, which result in a road traffic collision.

The people sitting in the driver and passenger seats of the concept car will experience the sights, sounds and smells of a road traffic collision in time with the DVD without actually being involved in a real-life incident.

Tamworth Community Safety Officer Tom Osborne said: "Young drivers are at a much higher risk of being involved in a collision than older drivers. Motorists aged 17-19 only make up 1.5 per cent of UK licence holders, but are involved in 12 per cent of fatal and serious crashes.

"That is why it is absolutely vital that we educate them on the potential consequences they face if they do not take driving seriously. The concept car provides a very dramatic simulation of a road traffic collision which has a long-lasting impact on young people. By going through this experience, we hope that the number of young drivers involved in a real crash will be greatly reduced.

"I would urge the parents of young people who are due to begin driving lessons soon, or who have just passed their test, to bring them along to the event. It is not an exaggeration to say that it could literally save their life."

The team is asking anyone who would like to attend the event, which will take place from 5.30pm until approximately 7pm, to express their interest by emailing esdgprevent@staffordshirefire.gov.uk or calling 01785 898727.