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Service leads on road safety campaign

12 February 2019

SURVIVE THE Drive, a new road safety programme aimed specifically at defence personnel, has been seen by senior military personnel and Government officials in recent weeks.

The scheme has been developed by Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service in partnership with the Ministry of Defence’s Movement and Transport Safety Regulator, Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service, SAFE South West, Devon County Council and the University of Plymouth.

In the last month, shows have been held at Army Headquarters in Andover, the Ministry of Defence at Abbey Wood in Bristol, the MoD main building in Whitehall, and Naval Command at Whaling Island, Portsmouth. A further show for senior officers within the Royal Air Force is also planned.

Statistics show that vehicle-related collisions are the second largest cause of non-operational fatalities and injuries across the Ministry of Defence, only exceeded by training incidents.

Survive the Drive, which is part-funded by a grant from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund, is based on the established, and highly successful, Safe Drive Stay Alive scheme. The aim is that all military personnel, including civil servants, will get a greater understanding of the risks on our roads, and the impact that a road traffic collision can have on them, their families and the wider community.

As with Safe Drive Stay Alive, the presentation includes testimonies from a police officer, a paramedic, a firefighter, someone who has caused a road traffic collision, the victim of a road traffic collision, and someone who has lost a family member in a road traffic collision.

Ian Hopkins, prevention delivery manager for Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, said, “We have been taking our Safe Drive Stay Alive roadshow to local military bases for the past ten years, but Survive the Drive is designed specifically for its audience and is now being rolled out across the country. We use the strapline ‘tomorrow is decided today’ as these are people who can relate to the impact of a split-second decision. We want them to recognise the parallels between the decisions they make while operational, and those they make at home when driving, and to adjust their actions accordingly.”

Presentations held at Tidworth before Christmas were recorded, and all military bases under the auspices of the Ministry of Defence will now be using Survive the Drive as part of their training programmes. Where local speakers aren’t available, the filmed show will be used instead.

Ian said, “It is a massive honour for our scheme to be adopted at a national level like this, and we are very grateful to everyone involved in getting us to this stage. We know from the feedback that we’ve received from past military interventions that the programme does work, so hopefully it will play its part in bringing down the number of military personnel killed or seriously injured while driving.”