News release text
Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) will be hitting the road this week, visiting town centres, shopping complexes and service stations armed with road safety advice as part of a national initiative targeted towards young drivers and pedestrians.
In the UK, it is a stark reality that one in five new drivers crash within six months of passing their test and one in three drivers who die on the roads is under 25 years old.*
Fire crews will be out and about, chatting to the public and carrying out a range of activities across the county, including a large static display inside Bluewater, one of the UK’s largest retail centres, this Thursday (9 May). Firefighters will also be carrying out a mock car crash outside the venue so that people can find out what is involved in freeing a casualty trapped in a vehicle following a collision.
This is all in support of National Road Safety Week (6 to 12 May 2013), an initiative involving emergency services across the county (see below), led by the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) in support of the United Nations Global Road Safety Week.
Firefighters will be in key locations in across Kent and Medway (see below), driving home the message that a moments’ distraction while driving can lead to destruction, resulting in a serious incident that could cause life-threatening injuries.
Crews will be appealing to drivers to consider the serious consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, as well as the dangers of using or looking at mobile phones while driving. They will be urging people to always keep their eyes on the road, rather than turning to look at passengers and appealing to drivers to look out for pedestrians, especially in built up areas.
KFRS Youth and Education Manager Dean Firmin said: “With more than 400km of motorway and major trunk roads in Kent and Medway and a vast network of rural roads, our fire crews are frequently called to rescue casualties trapped in vehicles after serious crashes.
“All too often, the casualties involved are young people, either drivers or passengers, who suffer life-changing injuries or loss of life as a result of these incidents.”
He added: “The CFOA road safety week provides an opportunity for fire and rescues services across the UK to make a coordinated effort to educate people about keeping themselves and others safe on the road, with the aim of helping to reduce the number of young people killed and seriously injured.”
Watch this short film where a Kent firefighter relays his experience of attending his first road traffic collision.
Fire crews will be promoting CFOA Road Safety Week at the following locations:
Ashford – High Street, 7, 9 and 10 May.
Folkestone – Morrisons and the High Street on 7, 9 and 10 May.
Ashford – High Street on the 7, 9 and 10 May
High Street and The Parade, Canterbury on 6 May and 11 May from 10am to 2pm
Outside various schools around school leaving time on 8 and 10 May.
Outside Canterbury College on 7 and 9 May
Chatham -The Dockside Outlet on 8 May from 10am to 1pm engaging with shoppers and 10 May from 7pm to 9pm focussing on young drivers
Seafront talking to pedestrians on the 6 and 11 May
High Street on the 8 and 10 May
Dover – Morrison car park and the High Street on 7, 9 and 10 May
Faversham - Shell Garage, A2 at Macknade 5 May and 9 May
Folkestone – Morrison car park and the High Street on 7, 9 and 10 May
Gillingham - Medway Farthing Corner Services on the M2 – details to follow.
Greenhithe - Bluewater Shopping Centre, Rose Gallery Shopping Mall – Thursday 9 May Static display inside (all day) and a mock car crash demonstration at 2.30pm by fire crews outside in the car park
Mortimer Street on 9 May from 2pm to 5pm
Morrison supermarket/William Street car park on 10 May from 10am to 4.30pm
Halfords/Homebase on 11 May from 9.30am to 12.30pm
Leafy Lane between 2.30pm and 4pm on 7 May, handing out leaflets and offering advice on pedestrian safety targeted towards local school children
Morrison car-park, Sutton Road on 9 May from 10am
Fremlin Walk Shopping Centre, Earl Street on 11 May from 10am to 4pm
Seafront and High Street on 6, 7, 10 and 11 May
Westwood Cross on 8, 9 and 12 May
Sevenoaks – Clackett Lane Services M25 (anti clockwise, Kent bound) on Friday 10 May from 10am to 4pm engaging with motorists. Crews will also be cutting a mock casualty free from a crashed car demonstration at 11.30am
Sheppey – Tesco Shopping Centre, Bridge Road on 8 May 11am to 4pm
Swallows Leisure Centre – 7 May and 8 May from 9.30am - 12.45pm
The Forum Shopping Centre on the morning of 9 May
Strood – Gala Bingo, Chariot Way on the morning of Friday 10 May
Harbour on 6, 7, 10, 11 and 12 May
In the High Street talking to shopperson 8 and 9 May
Reeves Way, Chestfield and outside B & Q store on 6 and 10 May
Harbour area and town car parks on 8 and 12 May.