More than 4,000 school pupils from across Tayside recently attended the multi-award winning and hard hitting road safety event Safe Drive Stay Alive.
Safe Drive Stay Alive was organised and delivered by representatives from Scottish Fire and Rescue Service along with partners from NHS Tayside, the Scottish Ambulance Service, Police Scotland, Tayside’s three local authorities and volunteers.
The series of events which took place in Forfar, Dundee and Perth throughout November provided an important message to future drivers before they even begin to learn to drive or are passengers in a car with their friends.
Drivers below the age between 17 and 25 are the most vulnerable drivers on the roads and statistics show that this age group is more likely to be involved in a collision, and particularly men, than any other group.
SFRS Community Safety Officer Stephen Wood said: “The message to young people is to enjoy the freedom and independence that driving gives you. It is also important to raise their awareness of the risks and responsibilities associated with driving because the last thing SFRS and their partners want is a young driver to become another terrible statistic.
“This year in Perth and Kinross, Angus and Dundee the event engaged with over 4000 school pupils to pass this message on and is a testimony to the commitment of our partners, schools and the pupils themselves that have been able to deliver safe drive stay alive successfully this year.”
He added: “Learning to drive is an exciting and important milestone in young people’s lives which comes with new responsibilities.
“By illustrating the real life experiences of the emergency services and those directly involved in road traffic collisions, I hope the Safe Drive Stay Alive (Tayside) event has made our young people more aware of the risks and help to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on our roads.”
Now in its ninth year in Tayside, SDSA continues to play a key role in helping to reduce road traffic casualties on Tayside’s roads. Many young people, who attended previous shows as school pupils, comment on the positive effect the show had on them.
Several former attendees are now helping with the event as volunteers, which is a testament to the lasting effect of the road safety message delivered by SDSA to the young people of Tayside.
One former attendee said: “I attended the Safe Drive Stay Alive talk two years ago with my school and since then have passed my driving test and now drive on a daily basis. The experience is one that will stay with me forever. The bravery of the speakers was outstanding and the stories were absolutely heartbreaking. It was an extremely emotional experience but the stories are always in the back of my mind whilst I am driving. It was a terrific learning experience and I hope it continues on forever, always teaching young people.”