Events News

UK's Kent Fire and Rescue Service to hold car crash demo in Canterbury

Published on 30 September 2009

Firefighters from Kent Fire and Rescue Service demonstrating the extrication of car crash victims at last year's event
Firefighters from Kent Fire and Rescue Service demonstrating the extrication of car crash victims at last year's event
Event aims to promote safer driving amongst young people

The sobering realities of being involved in a serious road traffic collision will be played out in Canterbury on Wednesday 7 October, when local firefighters stage a mock crash.

"Operation Carmageddon" aims to encourage young motorists to drive with care after research reveals they are more likely to take more risks than experienced drivers, killing themselves, their passengers and other road users.*

Students and local residents will see Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) firefighters cutting a "casualty" free from the wreckage of a crashed car while Kent Police and South East Coast Ambulance crews carry out their duties at the scene of an accident.

Crews from Canterbury fire station will be taking part along with members of the KFRS Community Safety team. The demonstration is part of a community safety event in the Hales Place area of Canterbury at St Stephens Community Centre in Tenterden Drive between 3 - 6.30 pm.

Watch Manager Matt Deadman said: "Venues like this are a great stage for showing the seriousness of a car crash because we find that young people are rarely interested in attending specific safety events such as open days at stations.

"Instead, by going directly to where a large group of students and young people live, we're hoping that they will watch what happens as the aftermath of a terrible accident is played out in front of them and that it will shock them into taking more care while driving."

Research shows that peer pressure can encourage bad driving and result in young drivers ‘showing off' to their passengers. The mere presence of young passengers, together with the distraction of conversation can be distracting to inexperienced drivers who should be paying close attention to the road.

Young drivers are more likely to seek thrills from driving fast and cornering at high speed than older drivers, and may be reluctant to drive under the speed limit for fear of ‘losing face' in front of friends. However with less experience at identifying potential hazards and assessing risk, new drivers, especially males, are more likely to be involved in high-speed crashes, single vehicle crashes involving losing control, crashes in the dark and when overtaking and negotiating bends.

Matt added: "If, as a result of this event, we are able to make young drivers think seriously about the way they drive, then we would have done our job. The message is simple, slow down, drive safely and grow up."

The demonstration is being held in support of the Community day set up of the city council's community development service and Kent Union at the University of Kent.

Recent consultation with residents in the area showed 74 per cent of people felt there was a lack of community spirit at Hales Place. And with a new intake of students about to arrive at the university, organisers hope the neighbourhood event will be a successful way to improve the situation.

Stalls providing a wealth of information from recycling to policing is on offer as well as vital fire safety information from the friendly and approachable KFRS Community Safety Team.

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