It’s the moment everyone dreads – the moment when one bad decision changes your life forever.
This stark message was brought home to students at the College Road Safety Day. A Cambridge Fire and Rescue Service crew arrived with two battered cars and set them out to show a head-on collision. Four students volunteered to be the critically-injured drivers or passengers, and the crew demonstrated how cars are immobilised and then sawn open to get the injured out as safety as possible without causing spinal damage.
As if this weren’t enough, also on hand was a crash simulator staffed by Jonny Cobb of Lincolnshire Road Safety and a video game from Fool Injected.
The most moving lesson came from the talk by Nick Bennett, who was seriously injured in a head-on collision ten years ago when he was 18. Nick sustained brain damage, uses a wheelchair and spent fourteen months in hospital. He now represents safety organisation Brake and gives talks warning young people of the dangers on taking split-second decisions which came ruin your life. The most moving aspect of his talk was when he explained that not only had he destroyed his own future, but also many of his friends, who had been unable to cope with his new life.
Also on site were two local driving schools, TOAD and the Bottisham School of Motoringt. Sue Papworth from TOAD gave a presentation to bring home to students how they must take responsibility for safety on the road, and awarded free two-hour driving lessons to the first four names pulled from a hat. Meanwhile, Bottisham School of Motoring ran a Highway Code and safety-based competition with prizes of free driving lessons.