Safe drive, stay alive! GMP launch hard-hitting campaign by recreating horrific crashes

The horrific aftermath of a traffic collision is to be brought to life in front of thousands of college students in Manchester.

‘Safe Drive Stay Alive’ is a new road safety initiative using reconstructions of previous car crashes, where real people – including emergency service staff and family members of those lost in collisions – will describe their own personal tragedy. 

Emergency services in Manchester, including GMP and Manchester Fire & Rescue service, have teamed up to launch the project and hope it will help reduce the number of young lives being lost on the roads. 

Inspector Matt Bailey-Smith from Greater Manchester Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit said: “Road safety isn’t a subject to be taken lightly and Safe Drive Stay Alive uses an emotive and hard-hitting approach to make young people sit up and think about the consequences of their decisions. 

“It’s easy to switch off when looking at a poster or watching an advert but the impact of a parent stood in front of you talking about the loss of their son or daughter takes it to another level and will make even the most hardened of young people think twice about their actions.”

WATCH: In previous demonstrations, an MM reporter was cut out from ‘crash’ to highlight how serious a road collision can be 

Students from across the region will attend one of 14 performances taking place at Middleton Arena where they will face the potentially devastating consequences of driving dangerously.

In the last 10 years (2003-2013), there were 232 young driver related deaths on the roads of Greater Manchester. This figure includes young people and people killed by a young driver. 

Families ripped apart by road traffic accidents will also be taking to the stage to share their personal and heartbreaking stories with students.

Dean, Dee and Hannah Wilson lost their 21-year-old son and brother when he crashed into a tree in 2010.

Speaking at the launch event the family said: “Although emotionally very difficult, as a family we feel a certain sense of pride in being invited to be part of Safe Drive Stay Alive.

“Through our volunteering, our very simple hope is to prevent other families from suffering such a profound loss. In doing this we feel some good will come from the loss of our Matt.”

ACTION: Manchester emergancy services team up to reconstuct harrowing scenarios on stage

The average cost of young driver collisions in 2011-2013 was more than £72 million per year, which accounts for a quarter of Greater Manchester’s casualty costs. 

Young people are more at risk of being involved in a collision, despite a smaller proportion of them holding a driving licence.

Sister Karen Higham-Deakin, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust’s Senior Major Trauma Coordinator said: “Working in the Emergency Department I’ve seen countless numbers of lives destroyed every year through dangerous or careless driving.

“It’s important to remember that collisions don’t just affect the victim who loses their life or sustains life changing injuries. 

“As an experienced health professional helping to care for the victims of road accidents, I am still often deeply affected by the cases that I see so I can only imagine how completely devastating this is for the family and friends of the young person who has been involved in the incident.” 

For more information about the safety initiative, click here.  


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