Thousands of pupils receive hard-hitting road safety message

A powerful road safety message has been delivered to thousands of school pupils from across Grampian.

Around 5,200 fifth year students watched the Safe Drive Stay Alive roadshow over its four-day run at the Beach Ballroom in Aberdeen earlier this month.

The roadshow is designed to target school pupils, but a free evening session is also put on, which was attended by around 600 people this year.

Nearly 100 Aberdeen College students also benefited from seeing the roadshow.

More than 300 pupils filled out an online survey after watching the show, using their smartphones to scan a QR code which took them straight to the SurveyMonkey site.

Results revealed that more than 40% of those who responded thought that driving too fast was the main cause of accidents involving young people, while 37% thought it happened because the driver was distracted.

When asked what they do if they feel unsafe as a passenger in a car, 21% said they sit quietly and hope they arrive safely at their destination, while 66% said they would ask the driver to slow down.

Nearly 15% of respondents said it might be acceptable to use a mobile phone while driving under certain circumstances, including taking a call from a parent or boyfriend/girlfriend, or while the road is quiet.

Asked what they thought of the show, pupils gave some very positive feedback, with comments like “Very hard hitting” and “Brilliant, was really informative about the dangers on the road”.

All of the comments from the pupils will be studied and taken on board to make sure next year’s show is as effective as possible.

Safe Drive Stay Alive, coordinated by the Aberdeenshire Community Safety Partnership (ACSP), delivers a shock to its viewers, with a thought-provoking stage show and film which tells the story of a tragic road accident. The live show features members of the emergency services who regularly deal with road collisions, and also members of the public whose lives have been profoundly affected by road collisions.

ACSP chair, Willie Munro, said: “The number of people, and more particularly young people, killed and injured on our roads continues to reduce and there can be no doubt that Safe Drive Stay Alive has been a major factor in that success.

“Having said that, there is still much to be done to continue to reduce the tragedy that still affects too many families.”

Safe Drive Stay Alive is sponsored by Apache and Petrofac and involves a number of partner organisations working together to improve road safety.

The partners are Aberdeenshire Council, Grampian Police, Grampian Fire and Rescue Service, Scottish Ambulance Service, NHS Grampian and Aberdeen City Council.