THE IMPORTANCE of passing on road safety tips to teenagers about to start driving lessons was outlined at this month’s meeting of Forfar Community Council.
Angus councillor Lynne Devine told last Thursday’s meeting she had attended the Safe Drive Stay Alive event in the Reid Hall. The theatre production engages with hundreds of senior high school pupils and college students in Angus, Dundee and Perth and last Wednesday it was in Forfar.
Councillor Devine said: “The roadshow, run by all the emergency services, was so well done. It certainly gets the message across to the young people who watched it in silence. I think they were quite stunned.
“We saw a film and heard from emergency services who had attended an accident scene, and there was also a film interview with a very brave mother who had lost a child. There was also a film of a 17-year-old who was in a wheel chair because of a motorbike accident.
“I thought the whole event was incredibly well done and it was a pleasure to go along.”
Although casualty numbers are reducing, young drivers and their passengers remain a vulnerable group when it comes to crashes, injuries and fatalities across Scotland.
Whilst not all collisions are attributable to young drivers, many include young people in the 17 to 25 age group. Factors in young driver crashes include inexperience, lack of awareness, distraction and, at times, peer pressure and over confidence.
The intention of the roadshow is to offer an insight into the realities of a fatal road collision and attempts to change attitudes towards safe driver and passenger behaviour.
And the overall aim is to give the audience a true sense of their own mortality and clearly illustrate the real dangers that arise when road safety is neglected.
It is not designed to scare the youngsters, but to get them to think about their actions before they get in the driver or passenger seat.
Sergeant John Sargeant of Tayside Police also spoke of the impact the roadshow had on the teenagers - and how they remembered the safe driving message for some time after.
He urged members of the public who had concerns about the driving of others to contact the police, whether or not a collision has taken place.
He said: “Ideally we need two witnesses and a registration number. If they can give us that then we will follow it up.”