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PCC holds Road Safety Event to cut deaths amongst young drivers in Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, has welcomed students from across the county to an event to promote road safety as part of National Road Safety Week, in a bid to cut deaths on the county’s roads amongst the young.

The event, held in collaboration with Bedfordshire Police and Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, took place at Shuttleworth College (Wednesday 22 November) where around 500 students took part in activities, received advice from various road safety organisations and met with police and fire teams including motorcycle officers.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be able to support Road Safety Week in this really practical way. I am appalled that deaths in car accidents for the under-25s are at comparable levels with serious illnesses such as cancer,” said Commissioner Holloway.

“I am indebted to Shuttleworth College for enabling us to host the event and schools across the county for facilitating the participation of their students and pupils in today’s event to learn about the ways in which they could be safer on our roads,” added the PCC.

Organisations and partners from around the county including Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, The British Horse Society, Speed Watch, RAC, Kwik-Fit and Bedford Autodrome volunteered their time to help support the day and provide information to young and prospective drivers.

“I would like to express my appreciation to all of our volunteers who participated in the event, holding stalls, talks and demonstrations. They really engaged with young drivers in a friendly and informal way that clearly delivered the message of road safety.

“With 117 road collisions involving young drivers last year in Bedfordshire, and car accidents being one of the biggest causes of death for young people, road safety is of high importance to me along with the Force,” said the Commissioner.

Attending the event was Bedfordshire Police’s Deputy Chief Constable, Garry Forsyth, who expressed how distressing it can be for all of those involved in fatal collisions.

“Dealing with fatal collisions is an unfortunate part of the job. I have seen first-hand the devastating impact it can have on families when having to deliver that awful news that their child has died in a collision. Five people die on our roads every day, if that was due to a crime such as murder there would be uproar. It is avoidable and we all must do more raise awareness.

“It was great to speak with students today and educate them on the dangers and the fatal four; not wearing a seatbelt, drug and drink driving, distractions such as use of a mobile phone and speeding. I hope every student received our message loud and clear, but if it has made one student a safer driving, preventing future fatalities, then it has been worth it in my book,” said DCC Forsyth.

The Force works closely with the Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service to raise awareness of the issues associated with road safety and Fire Officers attended the event to show students their specialist equipment and provide guidance to young drivers.

“As part of Road Safety Week, Firefighters from Biggleswade and Shefford Community Fire Stations gave students the message that every year 1000’s of young people are involved in serious road traffic collisions across the country. These can often result in life changing injuries or death. It was extremely useful to be able to work with our partners to deliver this important message directly to those who will soon become young drivers,” said Pete Buckingham, Community Safety Team Manager.