European Road Safety Charter

Drive For Life Event

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The focus behind the Hartpury College annual Road Safety event was to raise awareness amongst our students on how to drive safely, sensibly and to change the attitude and behaviour of young drivers and their passengers. The principal of the day was also to work closely with the Road Safety Partnership and the Police Crime Commissioner to reinforce his priority of Safe and Social Driving. The event involved compulsory attendance at workshops that covered psychology of driving, being more aware of their surroundings, reaction times and the effect an accident has on a family and the role of the Family Liaison Officer. Students were actively involved in interactive exhibits and further displays included a simulated crash scene, music distraction, safety camera van and seatbelt sled. Students could also talk to families who have lost loved ones. They were also taught how to look for dangers when buying a car and the Police Fire & Rescue teams are also on site to give invaluable advice. We are a rural College, dependant on our vehicles (predominantly cars) and the Drive For Life event was designed to safeguard the driving futures of our students in our county. It aimed to prevent the harm and heartache caused by a road traffic collision. The key messages that the College wished to get across was for students to understand the consequences of making poor driving choices and realising the effects of their actions on all involved. When we organised our first event in 2013 Hartpury College was the only College in Gloucestershire to run this type of event. This blueprint is now being replicated across the County including Katherine Lady Berkeley, Westonbirt, Gloucestershire College (Forest of Dean and future days are planned for Rednock, Cirencester College, Wyedean and Royal Agricultural University. As a spin-off of the events the College has worked closely with UPS Roadcode to deliver targeted interactive awareness sessions to students. As part of the College’s disciplinary process driving without due care and attention and not respecting other road users is considered a serious offence and the College has seen that these events have had a positive impact on student driving on campus. An evaluation was commissioned in 2015. This reported that almost everyone who attended the Drive for Life Events felt that the content was suitable, that the event was informative, memorable and bought home the message about the dangers of driving. This same cohort also felt that they were more informed of the consequences as a result of the event. The stated behavioural impacts were very positive, particularly encouraging (other) people to drive more carefully and the way in which the event appears to have impacted on the student’s beliefs is impressive. ‘There is clear evidence that afterwards, they are less likely to admit to poor behaviour and their attitudes to dangerous driving have also changed for the better’ (Research Box, 2015). This evaluation was provided by the Road Safety Partnership.