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Hundreds of Herefordshire schoolchildren benefit from Dying to Drive

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Hundreds of Herefordshire schoolchildren benefit from Dying to Drive

Hundreds of Herefordshire schoolchildren have been benefitting from the Dying to Drive road safety scheme during September.

And last week, it was the turn of Year 11 pupils from Weobley High School who attended the multi-agency event at Leominster Police Station.

One hundred students, who are currently car passengers but will soon be young drivers, took part in the event which aims to reduce death and serious injury among young road users in Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

“It is very beneficial for our students,” said Weobley High School’s deputy head teacher David Nicholas.

“They are always very keen to come and we have been attending for a number of years.

“Students and other staff have passed down what an important day it is.

“Most of the students are at an age where they are starting to think about driving. But they also learn about things like being pedestrians, about seat belts and about peer pressure while some of the information on drugs and alcohol is a real eye-opener.”

The ELY charity, which was set up in memory of Emma Louise Young, daughter of Councillor Ange Tyler and her husband Steve, is a key supporter of the initiative.

Emma lost her life in a road traffic collision in September 2010 and the charity was set up to offer a payment towards funeral costs for families in Herefordshire if they lose a son or daughter between the ages of 17 and 25 in an RTC.

“Nine years ago, when I lost Emma, it changed my world,” said Ange. “I don’t want any family member to go through the pain and heartache that we have gone through.

“I am so humbled to be part of these great emergency services because they know that they have to get that casualty out of the vehicle and to a trauma centre as soon as possible.

“Without the great way that they do that, then we would lose a lot more people.

“You can see the change in the young people during the time that they are here. They come in all buoyant and happy but by the time the two hours are over, they are quiet and go away thinking, which is all we want them to do.”

Hereford’s mayor, Councillor Kath Hey, whose husband is a paramedic, was impressed by the scheme.

“My husband experiences these things on a day-to-day basis but they aren’t necessarily things which can be shared at home,” she said. “So seeing the real-life impact in a setting like this really does make me realise how much support the emergency services need.

“The young people were obviously very keen to learn when they arrived without quite knowing what to expect but, as the workshops go on, they are clearly taking on board what is being said, answering questions in a very intelligent way, and engaging.

“We have a lot of young people here who will be going on the roads in the next couple of years and they will be doing so equipped with techniques and information about how to deal with scenarios they might come across.”

Sessions begin with a reconstruction of a serious road traffic collision involving all of the blue light services, their response and the ripple effect of such a collision.

Then key safety messages are reinforced with workshops focusing on the causes of RTCs such as not wearing seatbelts, driving while impaired and driving with distractions.

As well as at Leominster, other Dying to Drive events this year take place in Peterchurch, Worcester and Bromsgrove.