A ‘crashed car’ demonstration designed to show students what can happen when things go wrong behind the wheel was staged at The Forum, Norwich, as part of a campaign by the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner.
The #Impact campaign – the initiative of Norfolk PCC Lorne Green – has been touring schools and colleges across the county since it was launched two-and-a-half years ago.
And as the summer holidays loom, a demonstration was held for students of Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form and Jane Austen College at The Forum’s amphitheatre.
Students were first shown a video of Thomas Semmons, from Scarning near Dereham, who was seriously injured after losing control of his car in bad weather on the B1145 in Norfolk. He spoke about the experience and the effect the crash had, not only on him but also on his loved ones.
Students then headed to Millennium Plain to observe the #Impact demonstration outside The Forum, with volunteers experiencing what is involved in having emergency services work to free them from a vehicle, as well as facing police questioning and arrest.
Mr Green said: “I take very seriously the pledge I have made to do all I can to prevent young people from being seriously injured or killed on our roads. Thanks to the dedication of the #Impact team and the backing of colleges and sixth forms across Norfolk, we’ve had another hugely successful year reaching nearly 2,000 young people since September.”
As well as students, many other people passing by the area stopped to watch the demonstration.
Mr Green added: “The hard-hitting but massively important #Impact messages – particularly about the responsibility we accept when we get behind the steering wheel, and the potential consequences when we don’t take that responsibility seriously – are a useful reminder for us all as we enjoy the summer months ahead of us.”
Since its launch, 5,800 young people have been involved in the initiative which is actively supported by Norfolk Constabulary, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service and the East of England Ambulance Service.
Inspector Jon Chapman, from Norfolk Constabulary, said: “Young drivers are disproportionately represented in casualty statistics which is why it’s so important we educate young people about the risks on the road and the Fatal 4 – whether it be drink and drug driving, not wearing a seatbelt, using a mobile phone behind the wheel or excess speeding.
“Education is key to this and what #Impact delivers is a powerful and thought-provoking presentation showing the stark reality of what can happen if you get it wrong. We’re committed to working with our partners to improve road safety and the mock collision display helps to focus the attention of students.”