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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Lichfield Road Deaths Reduced

Firefighters have been serving up road safety messages at supermarkets in Lichfield.

Members of Blue Watch visited Tesco and Morrison’s this week in support of the Department of Transport's National Seatbelt campaign.

"Wearing a properly fitted restraint can significantly reduce the risk of being killed or seriously injured."

Matthew Higginson, Crew Manager

It follows the publication of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s latest Performance Summary which reveals road safety campaigning by Lichfield firefighters has helped to reduce motoring related fatalities in the city by 37 per cent.

The city suffered five road deaths in 2008/09 compared to eight the previous year. Firefighters talked to hundreds of shoppers about the dangers of not wearing seatbelts in vehicles and the importance of child restraints.

They handed out leaflets and demonstrated a unique new tool which alerts drivers and passengers who are not strapped in.

Crew Manager, Matthew Higginson, said: "People found our Bluetooth publisher absolutely fascinating. It will send out a safety message to anyone within a 50-metre radius of it who is not wearing a seatbelt.

"At Tesco and Morrisons we took the opportunity to educate people to the dangers of not being suitably restrained while travelling in any motorised vehicle.

"Wearing a properly fitted restraint can significantly reduce the risk of being killed or seriously injured if the vehicle you or your family or friends are travelling in is ever involved in a road traffic collision."

Matthew added a key message which many people were not aware of was the laws surrounding children in vehicles.

"The leaflets reminded parents about the importance of ensuring their children are in the correct child restraint on every journey," he said.

"Children must not be placed into an adult seatbelt too soon. The law states a child must be 135cm tall or 12-years-old before they are allowed to use an adult seatbelt on their own."

Leaflets have also been distributed to schools, nurseries, child-minders and activity clubs around Lichfield to inform staff and parents about the safest ways to secure children in cars.

Risk Reduction manager at Lichfield Fire Station, Carmel Warren, said: "Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is committed to reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured on roads.

"Our efforts are geared to making sure all drivers and passengers wear their seatbelts on every journey. The best way to achieve this is to make people understand the risk they run if they don’t wear a seatbelt."