Maud-based DAB Plus Driver Training has recently been working with Fraserburgh Academy to deliver the DAB Plus Driving Ambition road safety project to the 6th year students at the school.
DAB Plus Training Manager and ex-Police Inspector, Alan Brown identified that a gap in road safety education had arisen, following the instigation of the single police service in Scotland.
Historically, Driving Ambition had been delivered by the legacy Grampian Police Force; it was a great success, being delivered across all secondary schools in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray Council areas, and was awarded an International Road Safety award.
During his time in the Police, Alan spent a lengthy period of time as operational lead for the legacy force’s Road Safety Unit, which delivered, among other topics, the Driving Ambition project. Since moving to DAB Plus, he has continued to pay attention to road casualty figures.
Alan said: "We have sadly continued to see fatalities on the north east roads. This is something which must be tackled, but it is not the responsibility of any one individual or group. Everyone has a part to play.
"One of the target audiences nationally for road safety advice is the 17 to 25 year-old age group. They have featured highly in collisions across the country. With this in mind, DAB Plus decided to re-introduce some form of road safety education in this area."
On November 8 and 9, the 6th year students at the aademy took part in various sessions to reinforce the need for safety and common sense when driving.
A hard hitting anti text-n- drive film written and produced by The University of Wales and supported by Gwent Police was viewed by the students, raising awareness of the impact a few seconds thoughtless action has on a wide range of people, not just the driver who is texting.
Splitting into smaller groups, the students then went round different sessions, all targeting information or skills which will stand them in good stead to be safe drivers into the future.
Each group spent time learning about the dangers of drunk driving. A serious message was put across in a fun, memorable way, by use of a set of Beer Goggles. The students tried several exercises which highlighted to them the confusion they may unwittingly face if they chose to drive after drinking.
Also in this session they were reminded of how far it really takes to stop a car at various speeds. Using the DAB Plus Brake Reaction Timer, each student had the chance to react to a simulated vehicle stopping in front of them. Some eye-opening facts were learned here especially when the young people “texted” as they “drove”!
The groups also underwent some basic emergency First Aid training, learning, or in some cases, refreshing skills which may help keep victims of road crashes alive until the emergency services arrive. With help from Heart Start Grampian and First Responders, the students were shown how to ensure breathing and circulation were maintained in a person and what to do if they needed to take more intrusive action, through CPR training.
They also learned about basic checks which will keep their cars safe, discussing things like oil and water checks, tyre checks etc.
Finally, each student had a short run with a local Approved Driving Instructor, encouraging those with full driving licences to keep their skills up, those with provisional licences to ensure they got good quality, professional training to learn to drive safely and those with no driving licence at present were encouraged by learning the basic initial skills taught to every new learner.
Commenting after the event, Alan added: "This project has been very well received by everyone. All the students are aware that driving is a skill for life, and only by learning and driving safely, can that life be a long, enjoyable one. I wish to thank Fraserburgh Academy for allowing DAB Plus to run this event for them, and all the local driving instructors for their time and support on the roads."