Reckless driving wrecks lives

The results of reckless driving are viewed by pupils and councillors at Ayr Fire Station.
The results of reckless driving are viewed by pupils and councillors at Ayr Fire Station.

Over 2000 S5 and S6 students from schools all over Ayrshire learned about the importance of road safety at Reckless Driving Wrecks Lives.

Presentations were given which were thought provoking, heartbreaking and informative.

The aim of the presentations, which took place between 5 and 7 March 2014, was to improve attitudes to road safety among new and learner drivers and their passengers.

The presentations were made at the Odeon Cinema in Ayr, representatives from all the emergency services took to the stage, and in their own words recounted their experiences of dealing with serious road crashes. Apart from the obvious physical needs of crash victims they explained the life-changing consequences they could bring to drivers, passengers, their family and friends. The initiative is organised and hosted by the South Ayrshire Community Safety Partnership, now in its tenth year it has been so successful that it has been extended to all secondary schools in Ayrshire.

Councillor Rita Miller, Chair of the South Ayrshire Community Safety Partnership said: “Young people are all keen to get a driving licence. They need to understand that driving while not under supervision is a totally different thing and it is even harder if you have your friends in the car distracting you.

“The presentations give the young people the facts of what happens at and after a road crash, and they tell it as it is. They really bring home the fact that a few seconds of dangerous driving or silly behaviour in a car can lead to injuries that can affect your future life, your family and friends, and for some it can lead to death. An important part of the message is not to get into a car and be driven by anyone who you think may drive irresponsibly.

“Young people want to be treated like adults and this is what this initiative does, it gives them the facts and reminds them that they need to be responsible for their actions or be prepared to live with the consequences.

“Many young people will have to live the rest of their lives with the physical and emotional trauma of the consequences of a crash. For those young people killed on our roads their deaths can have far reaching consequences for their family, friends and work colleagues.”

Last year Stuart Bracher joined the Reckless Driving Wrecks Lives initiative, he realised what an impression his presentation made on the young people, and is taking part in it again this year.

When he was 27 years of age he was driving a car and not wearing a seatbelt, his life was changed forever. Stuart has joined the Reckless Driving Wrecks Lives team this year, he said: “On Thursday 17 February 2005 my life changed forever while travelling to work on an icy road. 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, I was thrown out of the driver’s door, hit my head on the road and was in a coma for four months. I had to learn to walk, speak and eat again through three years of various intensive therapies.

“I lost my job, my marriage, my children. I urge people to learn from my mistake.”

Chief Inspector William Ramsay of Police Scotland said: “Reckless Driving Wrecks Lives is now an established event within the 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.

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