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Lancaster & Morecambe College (LMC) opened its doors to the wider community once again on 7 November 2019 to take part in the “Safe Drive Stay Alive” initiative, organised by Wasted Lives UK.
Safe Drive Stay Alive is a national road safety education programme, in which a team of facilitators challenge young adults’ perspective on taking risks whilst driving. LMC recognises the programme as essential in keeping young people safe, and has hosted Safe Drive five times, over the course of four years.
This year, almost 600 students from LMC, Morecambe High, Lancaster Girls’ Grammar and many more local schools were faced with harrowing true stories delivered by Neil Carter (Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service), Neil Rowley (Lancashire Constabulary), Cheryl Harwood (North West Ambulance Service) and Helen Birch; who tragically lost her son in a road traffic accident on Mothers’ Day, 2012, after he lost control of his vehicle.
When speaking about the Safe Drive initiative, Andy Trotter, Lancashire Constabulary Inspector said:
“The strength of character from our family speakers is absolutely unbelievable – how they come and talk about the loss of their children amazes me every time.”
Lancaster & Morecambe College Principal, Wes Johnson, described the importance of the session tapping into the behaviours of young people behind the wheel.
His statement was echoed upon leaving the session when students’ were confronted with a crashed vehicle, ensuring they could see first hand the impact caused by dangerous driving, and to encourage them to change their attitudes on the roads.
When asked how Helen deals with her loss on a day-to-day basis, she commented:
“Since we’ve been doing Safe Drive Stay Alive, the deaths on the road of the under 25’s has significantly fallen, and I just put my trust and faith in that and believe whole heartedly that we have made that difference.
“And that, for me, is enough”