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Sefton school children given safety messages during Brake Road Safety Week


MF&RS Crew Member Mark Purdy at Megadrive Event

More than 200 children from six schools across Sefton met firefighters and were given safety messages as part of a three-day event staged during Brake Road Safety Week in Sefton.

The special “Megadrive” event was staged by Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, Sefton Council Road Safety Teams, the DVLA/DSA, local driving instructors and Merseyside Police in Sefton. The event, which was open to invited schools and groups, featured a “crash car”, showing the consequences that collisions can have, as well as safety information and the specialist equipment that the Fire Service use to free people following road collisions.

The event, which saw firefighters from Southport Community Fire Station and Formby Community Fire Station speaking with the young people at Altcar Army Training Camp, was held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to drive home road safety messages.

The initiative focused on the big five reasons for crashes on roads including mobile phones, drink/drugs, showing off, speeding and
seatbelts. The pupils, who were 16 and 17-years-old also had a chance to drive a duel controlled car with an instructor. The Police talked about the consequences of drinking and driving for all involved.

Crew Manager Eddie Parry, who is based at Formby Community Fire Station and attended the event with his firefighter crew, said: “This is a great initiative and the students interacted and understood; furthermore they were shocked with the statistics. For example, 21,000 people were seriously injured on UK roads in 2011. The young people all agreed that they had learnt something new. The crew and I worked along side Crew Manager Andy Shotton and his team to deliver this proactive session.”

One of the students from Maricourt High School, in Maghull, said, “I will always wear my seatbelt in the future, even if it creases my
clothes.”

Group Manager Rob Pritchard, Sefton district manager, said: “The main aim of this event was to really engage with those young people who will be driving in the very near future and highlight what emergency services have to do and the incidents they deal with involving crashes on the roads in Merseyside. We rescue more people following crashes on Merseyside’s roads than we do from house fires and our staff work around the year to reduce the numbers of those killed and injured on our roads. The event was a big success with excellent feedback from the students after evaluation forms were completed by the students on the day they attended.”

In total 250 Sefton students from six schools attended the Megadrive. Three driving instructors were on hand to offer pre driver students a brief taster of driving a vehicle on a private road.

A free older drivers’ awareness event is also being held at Southport Eco Centre on November 29 from 10am to 4pm.

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service runs a range of community awareness events during the year to reduce the number of injuries on roads.

These have included the Drive to Arrive (D2A) initiative, which involves firefighters carrying out presentations for teenagers in
schools and showing a DVD of the real impact that road collisions can have on families.

It highlights the five main reasons that young people, especially young men are killed in road accidents, which are: driving under the
influence of drugs and alcohol, not wearing seatbelts, showing off, speeding and using mobile phones while driving.

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service has also launched its own In Case of Emergency (ICE) Cards, which are kept in a motorcyclist or cyclists helmet and contain vital medical information in case of a crash. The free cards have been distributed to riders across Merseyside in a bid to help reduce the number of motorcyclists and cyclists killed or injured on roads.

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