'For My Girlfriend' Road Safety Campaign Targets Cambridgeshire Pupils

08 February 2010

RTC demonstration at St Peter's School

SIXTH form students at St Peter's School in Huntingdon witnessed the grim realities of a road traffic collision on February 2, thanks to the For My Girlfriend campaign, run by local authorities and Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS).

The award winning campaign is aimed especially at young male drivers, urging them not to hurt the ones they love through careless driving in the run up to Valentine's Day.

More girls die in road traffic collisions as passengers than as drivers. The For My Girlfriend campaign has two aims, firstly to make young male drivers think about the consequences of showing off, speeding, having an extra drink or taking drugs while their girlfriend is in the passenger seat and secondly to encourage girls to speak out and tell their male friends and boyfriends to slow down.

Community Safety Officer Kevin James enlisted the help of Huntingdon white watch to show teenagers a realistic demonstration of what happens after a high speed collision.  

Two pupils from the school volunteered to play the part of driver and passenger, and were cut out of the car by firefighters as their friends looked on.  

This followed a hard hitting DVD presentation which focussed on the long lasting effects that careless driving can have on the family and friends of victims, as well as the emergency services whose job it is to respond to the aftermath of accidents.  

Asked to describe how it felt to be cut out of the car, the male 'driver' said: "It was loud, scary, and claustrophobic. The firefighters were telling us what they were doing but nothing really registered except the noise."  

The demonstration and presentation had a sobering effect on the teenagers, many of whom are already driving or learning to drive.  

Assistant Head of Sixth Form at the school, Richard Corbbitt said: "Often teenagers don't listen to the usual safety messages, but this sort of thing is more direct and really brings the message home.  

"It's useful to remind young drivers of the tragedies that can and do occur through careless driving, and hard hitting presentations like this do just that. It was well worth an hour of our time."