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Firefighters' stark message to young drivers

21 November 2018

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.

Firefighters are now taking part in a series of events to warn young people of the dangers of the roads.

It’s after the figures revealed 33 children and young adults have died in road traffic collisions (RTCs) in the last five years. During that time 651 under-25 year-olds were also injured in crashes across West Yorkshire.

The figures are being released as part of the Road Safety Week awareness campaign, which runs between November 19 and 25 and is led nationally by road safety charity, Brake.

To try and help reduce the numbers of casualties WYFRS will be taking part in a series of events to try and spread the message about the importance of staying safe.

Events include;

  • On Wednesday 21st a demonstration to young people at Huddersfield Fire Station partnering with Police, Highways and Safer Kirklees. Young people will see crews simulate a mock-up road traffic collision where a casualty is trapped in the vehicle. They will be displaying the specialist equipment used to release people. Chair of the Fire Authority, Councillor Judith Hughes will be among those attending. A bereaved father, whose teenage son sadly died in a crash in West Yorkshire, will be speaking to the students.
  • There will also be a roadshow 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 are attending, from around Calderdale, from facilities including Calderdale College and Trinity Academy.
  • On Tuesday 20th, between 6pm and 7.30pm, Fire and Police representatives are taking part in a Facebook Live session on the topic of Road Safety in Calderdale, hosted through the Calderdale Council Facebook page. Residents are encouraged to ask questions or raise any concerns.

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.”

West Yorkshire Police’s Roads Policing Unit Sergeant Cameron Buchan 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."