School pupils in Warrington got first-hand experience of the horrific impact a road traffic collision at a special road safety event, designed to help keep them safe on the borough’s roads.
Warrington Borough Council delivered their first ever ‘Impact Day’ at Penketh High School, an awareness day designed to get pupils to think about the effects a road traffic collision has on everybody in the community, not just friends and family.
Working together, emergency response teams and the council set-up a ‘live’ crash scene in the school playground. Pupils from Penketh High acted as the casualties and the other students then saw for themselves the effects of a crash and how the emergency services all work very hard together to save lives in an incident.
Once they crash scene part of the event was over, the students were split into groups to take part in classroom sessions. During these they had the opportunity to think about what happened during the crash and to decide why they thought the crash happened. They then had to work out all the people who would be affected from a road traffic collision.
There were also guest speakers who had felt the effects of a crash, giving a first-hand account of their experiences to pupils. A Family Liaison Police officer discussed his experience of attending a crash scene, and having to tell somebody that their loved one has been killed on the road. A Trauma Doctor from Countess Chester A&E department spoke about his role in the hospital when a victim is brought into A&E. There was a Magistrate who spoke about his time in court dealing with road traffic cases and how the families react in court. A victim of a accident, who was on duty as a Highways Agency officer when his vehicle was hit by a drunk HGV driver, spoke about the injuries he sustained and the long term effect it has had on his life.
Councillor Hans Mundry, executive board member for highways, transportation and the public realm, said: “We are committed to ensuring road safety for everyone in the borough and this exercise gave school pupils a chance to focus on how normal life can be destroyed by a road accident in a split second.
“We have targeted young people with this campaign as normally they just think of friends and family, but so many others feel the impact in their lives - emergency services personnel will be affected along with their families, magistrates, teachers, neighbours, witnesses…the list goes on and on, and it is vital we get this important message across to people at an early age.”
Mr Dunne, Headteacher at Penketh High School said: “This was one of the most powerful reconstructions I have ever seen. In the 'life-like' virtual world of video games and computer generated images, powerful messages that require a hard hitting impact can be difficult to get across to youngsters.
“The impact team, with the support of all the emergency services, did an amazing job in bringing their important road safety messages to life at Penketh High School. This was very difficult for our pupils to watch but I'm certain that if all youngsters across Warrington get to see this very real insight into the horror of a road traffic accident, dozens of lives could be saved across the region each year.”
Impact Day was a collaboration between Warrington Borough Council road safety team, Cheshire Fire and Cheshire Police.