Reckless driving costs lives, South Ayrshire school pupils are told

Councillor Rita Miller, Chair of the South Ayrshire Community Safety Partnership, is pictured with local councillors, emergency service officers and pupils at the start of Reckless Driving Wrecks Lives 2013.

Councillor Rita Miller, Chair of the South Ayrshire Community Safety Partnership, is pictured with local councillors, emergency service officers and pupils at the start of Reckless Driving Wrecks Lives 2013.

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SOUTH Ayrshire school pupils have rallied round to raise awareness of the consequences of reckless driving.

More than 2000 S5 and S6 students from Ayrshire schools got together to take in a series of presentations about the importance of road safety last week.

Delivered at Ayr’s Odeon cinema, Reckless Driving Wrecks Lives presented the students was first-hand, graphic details from emergency services as to what happens during and after a serious road crash – and the immediate impact this has on family and friends.

The initiative was organised and hosted by the South Ayrshire Community Safety Partnership – now in its ninth year – and has been so successful that 22 secondary schools from across the whole of Ayrshire attended the 2013 sessions.

Councillor Rita Miller, Chair of the South Ayrshire Community Safety Partnership, was confident the scheme had saved the lives of many young people by encouraging responsible driving.

“If young people are grown up enough to learn to drive and get a driving licence then they are old enough to know the consequences of reckless driving,” she said.

“Some of the presentations are hard to listen to, but they are all true. Listening to them really does make young people think about the way they will drive, who they will get into a car with and the way a couple of seconds reckless driving really can wreck lives.

First time Reckless Driving team member Stuart Bracher suffered a life-changing accident at the age of 27 while driving without a seatbelt.

“Thursday 17 February 2005 was the day my life changed forever while travelling to work on an icy road,” he said. “I always wore a seat belt but for some unknown reason, that day I didn’t, and I have lived to regret this since.

“My car was hit by a lorry and I was thrown out of the driver’s door, hitting my head on the road. I fell into a coma for four months before I had to learn to walk, speak and eat again through three years of various intensive therapies,” Stuart recounted.

Chief Inspector William Ramsay of Strathclyde Police praised Reckless Driving Wrecks Lives as an established event within the South Ayrshire secondary schools curriculum.

“It brings together experts from across the whole spectrum of road safety and delivers a hard hitting but realistic and vitally important message to young people who will soon be venturing onto our roads as drivers,” he said.

“Our priority, in all aspects of life in the community, is about keeping people safe, and this event contributes directly to enhancing the safety of our roads.”