Covid-19 has meant a flagship road safety programme aimed at Year 11-13 students is being delivered differently this year.
Safe Drive Stay Alive, which is coordinated by Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service (DWFRS) on behalf of Wiltshire & Swindon Road Safety Partnership and Dorset Road Safe, has gone digital to ensure its hard-hitting messages still reach young people.
The presentation uses powerful personal testimony and dramatic video footage to make the audience aware of the tragedy and suffering caused by road traffic collisions. Firefighters, medics, police officers, bereaved parents and people who have been directly involved in such incidents recount their stories, often in heartbreaking detail.
The DWFRS road safety team have also written an optional lesson plan, of which the presentation can be a part. Aligned with PSHE and British Values, the lesson includes 20-30 minutes of additional suggested discussion and activities, to help embed learning but also incentivise students with the goals they can achieve when good choices are made as a driver or passenger.
The first on-line Safe Drive Stay Alive shows were held last week, reaching over 400 students from three different schools/colleges, and 30 more are already booked in.
Road safety manager Christine Sharma said: “Safe Drive Stay Alive normally has speakers telling their stories in front of the students – these are real people who have experienced the horror of road traffic collisions, whether as a member of the emergency services, as a victim or as a parent who has lost a child. As soon as we knew that live shows wouldn’t be possible for this school year, we moved to an on-line format – our brave speakers and volunteers have kindly recorded their accounts to avoid technical issues, and some additional digital resources have been added to make the presentation flow.”
She added: “Before going out to schools, we trialled the show with our own staff, colleagues from partner agencies within Wiltshire & Swindon Road Safety Partnership and Dorset Road Safe, and our sponsors. This helped us hugely and we will continue to refine the delivery based on the feedback we receive. The launch shows went really well, and we’re delighted with the response – more dates are being made available for the Spring term and we’re hopeful of reaching as many students as we have previously.”
One teacher who contacted the organisers after the show said: “Thank you so much, the initial feedback from staff and students is that the virtual sessions were still as impactful as the live show and were very well received.”
Any school in Wiltshire or Dorset with Year 11-13 students can book one of these free shows. If you’ve not already been contacted by the Safe Drive Stay Alive team, please firstname.lastname@example.org