King's Lynn students given graphic road safety message
PUBLISHED: 13:30 01 May 2019 | UPDATED: 11:28 02 May 2019
Teenagers were given a graphic reminder to drive safely when a hard-hitting campaign by the emergency services came to school.
Police, firefighters and ambulance personnel brought the #Impact campaign to the King Edward VII Academy, in King's Lynn.
Students saw a video of Thomas Semmons from Scarning, near Dereham, who was seriously injured after losing control of his car in bad weather on the B1145 in Norfolk.
Thomas talks about his experience and the effect the crash had, not only on him but also on his loved ones. His car also tours with the campaign – showing the very real impact of what can happen when things go wrong behind the wheel.
Students then get the opportunity to observe a crashed car demonstration with volunteers experiencing what is involved in having emergency services work to free them from a vehicle, as well as facing police questioning and arrest.
Alice, 17, was arrested after she gave a positive breath test. Ben, 16, was cut free from the wreckage, but died at the scene.
Students were then asked to reflect on what they have been part of, making their own pledge to be safe on Norfolk's roads.
Alice said afterwards: “It's a bit surreal. You know it's not real but it's the realisation that it does happen to people. I've got a driving lesson tomorrow and I'm like: Oh no.”
Insp Jon Chapman from Norfolk police said: “Young drivers are disproportionately represented in casualty statistics which is why it's so important we educate young people about the risks on the road.
“Education is key to this and what #Impact delivers is a powerful and thought-provoking presentation showing the stark reality of what can happen if you get it wrong.”
KES Academy principal Sarah Hartshorn said: “This is the second time that our students have benefitted from the #Impact demonstration and we are delighted to have the emergency services here once again showing our students first-hand the implications and educating them to be safer drivers.”
#Impact was launched by police and crime commissioner Lorne Green two years ago. Since then, it has reached 5,500 young people.
“To be at this milestone and have reached so many young people across Norfolk is a real achievement,” said Mr Green.