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Saturday, 17 December 2011

Kids count - say Cheshire's emergency services

 

Kids count was a joint message delivered by the joint emergency services Think Drive Survive team and youth organisation Kidscount in Westminster, London, on Monday the 5th December.

Think Drive Survive is a Cheshire emergency services course which started in 2000. The course brings together people who have a wealth of experience and knowledge in dealing with road traffic collisions and aims to impact on the driving behaviour of young people. Officers from police, fire, ambulance and highways are accompanied by the mother of a victim, and together the team deliver an interactive and powerful course that can have profound impact on a young driver.

The invitation to the Think Drive Survive team came from Kidscount and provided an opportunity for the two organisations to influence those with a keen interest in road safety issues with one message - kids count.

Young people from the youth organisation joined members of the Think Drive Survive team to talk to MPs and members of media about the Saving Lives campaign which, like Think Drive Survive, aims to influence, educate and change behaviours of young people to make the right choices. Kidcount are asking people to go online and sign up to the Saving Lives campaign at www.kidscount.org.uk/savinglives.

Speaking about the course, The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, Mike Penning MP, described the Think Drive Survive Course as ‘Brilliant′. Other MPs present commented on the Think Drive Survive presentation indicating their support for the course to become best practise when dealing with young drivers.

The course is an educational experience that lays bare the risks to young people of driving. Sitting through the presentations is an emotional and resonant experience that stays with the young driver for a long time and is designed to amend their driving behaviour. The course is an excellent example of collaborative working between the public sector and local people to tackle the route cause of collisions and to change and influence the attitudes of young drivers. Nearly 15,000 young road users have benefited from it over the last 12 years. The course has evolved over the years and has even received a Prince Michael of Kent International Road Safety award in 2006.

Recent Independent evaluation concluded that the course showed that it had had a ′significant and positive shift in the attitudes of participants as a direct result of the course.′

There are over 30 courses planned for 2012 and anyone requiring further information about the course can contact the Cheshire Police Road Safety Officer, PC Dave Murray on 01606 362316 or the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service Assistant Road Safety Manager, Peter Shields on 01606 868681. peter.shields@cheshirefire.gov.uk

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