By ANISAH ARIF
Firefighters across West Yorkshire are taking part in a series of events to teach young drivers the dangers of the roads.
After figures revealed 33 children and young children have died in road traffic collisions (RTC) in the last five years. During that time 651 under 25-year-olds were also injured in crashes across West Yorkshire.
Crews from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) have attended 3,105 crashes in the last five years, according to figures released as part of Road Safety Week.
The campaign, which runs from 19th November to 25th November, is led nationally by road safety charity, Brake. A number of events will be taking place across West Yorkshire in aim to spread the message about the importance of staying safe.
On Wednesday 21st, Huddersfield Fire Station is partnering up with Police, Highways and Safer Kirklees to perform a demonstration for young people. Crews will replicate a road traffic scenario where a casualty is trapped in the vehicle to display illustrate the specialist equipment used to release people. Chair of the Fire Authority, Councillor Judith Hughes will be among those attending as well as a bereaved father, whose teenage son suddenly died in a crash in West Yorkshire, will be speaking to students.
There will also be a road show at the Victoria Theatre, in Halifax, on the same Wednesday including testimonies from a Firefighter, Police Officer and Ambulance Service paramedic as they describe the devastation that can be caused by RTCs. Hundreds of pupils from Calderdale College and Trinity Academy are also attending.
Tomorrow we will see Fire and Police representatives take part in a Facebook live session on the topic of Road Safety in Calderdale, hosted through the Calderdale Council Facebook Page. Residents are also invited to ask any questions on any concerns they may have.
Chair of the Fire Authority, Councillor Hughes, said: “Events like these are really important to spread the message to young people across West Yorkshire about the importance of staying safe on the roads.
“Attending road traffic collisions can be very traumatic for firefighters and the impact of a road death can be huge, not only for the families but also for the community.”
Sergeant Cameron Buchan, of West Yorkshire Police’s Roads Policing Unit, said: “As roads policing officers we still see the devastating effects of fatal and serious injury collisions first hand all too often. If we can engage with young drivers – the most at risk age group – to spare them or their families the torment of being involved in such collisions – then this has to be worthwhile.”
Road safety is raising to be an important community issue. Dangers such as fast drivers and lack of safe cycling routes blight communities across the UK. In August, we saw four young Asian men who were killed in a car crash in Bradford. From this, Bradford Council and local mosques spoke out passionately against dangerous driving.
Road Safety Week is the ideal time for local people to get together and run awareness-raising activities, campaigns or events.