Although casualty numbers are reducing, young drivers and their passengers remain a vulnerable group when it comes to crashes, injuries and fatalities across Scotland.
From April 2010 to March 2011, 18 people were killed and 200 were injured on Tayside roads. Whilst not all collisions were attributable to young drivers, many included young people in the 17 to 25 age group. Factors in young driver crashes include inexperience, lack of awareness, distraction and, at times, peer pressure and over confidence.
It is little surprise then, that the emergency services and their partners see the highly impactive Safe Drive Stay Alive event being as relevant now as it was when it was first introduced in Tayside in 2007.
The Safe Drive Stay Alive theatre production will once again engage with hundreds of senior high school pupils and college students when the shows begin later this month across Angus, Dundee and Perth.
Its intention is to offer an insight into the realities of a fatal road collision and attempts to change attitudes towards safe driver and passenger behaviour. The overall aim of Safe Drive Stay Alive is to give the audience a true sense of their own mortality and clearly illustrate the real dangers that arise when road safety is neglected.
Tayside Police Assistant Chief Constable, Angela Wilson, said: “I am delighted to support another year of Safe Drive Stay Alive. Tayside Police view this as a very effective and impactive way of educating young people to become careful, considerate and safe drivers and road users.
“This Tayside wide partnership event draws together the experiences of many individuals to show vulnerable young people the gravity of being in charge of a vehicle, which if driven inappropriately can lead to serious injuries or fatalities.
“Young drivers are inexperienced and can only become good drivers by practicing and improving their skills.
“Too often the emergency services witness at first hand the tragic end result of young drivers taking risks, which they may not fully appreciate, including such simple things as failing to wear a seat belt.
“Injuries sustained in a collision may affect people for the rest of their lives and the consequences of causing a fatality are simply horrendous to all involved.
“Young people may think they are invincible; unfortunately the number of collisions we have to deal with show they are not. They need to understand that any risks they take when driving can have monumental effects on themselves, their family and their friends.
“Safe Drive Stay Alive is not looking to scare young people, it is designed to get them to think about their actions before they get in the driver or passenger seat. I know it will be very impactive and thought provoking for all who attend.”
By drawing together the experiences of many individuals the Tayside-wide partnership are able to stress the gravity of being in charge of a vehicle and the responsibility that comes with it.
In Forfar one of the shows has already taken place but there is still time to see it today (Wednesday) at the Reid Hall from 10.15 a.m. to 12.15 p.m.