It was a lesson that students in Gloucestershire say will stay with them for a very long time – hopefully forever.
It destroyed the myth that it is cool to drink and drive and hammered home the consequences for those who do and get caught.
More than four thousand pupils – 4444 to be precise – aged 16 and over at schools around the county were taught the dangers of driving under the influence of drink and drugs in a series of ‘Wrecked’ workshops during the course of the last academic year.
The ‘Wrecked’ tour, dubbed ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’, targeted young, pre and novice drivers and their passengers. More than 80% of students said the sessions had changed attitudes and would change their behaviour as a result!
Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Martin Surl said,
“Every analysis tells us that young, male drivers are the most likely to be involved in drink related crashes and we have to keep trying to reverse that trend by explaining the reality to this age group.
“These are very encouraging results but if they are correct, there are still as many as one in five who still don’t get it so we can’t afford to be complacent”.
‘Wrecked workshops’ were designed by the Gloucestershire Road Safety Partnership (GRSP) with the support of the PCC. Helping young people become responsible adults and improving road safety are two of the driving forces of the commissioner’s police and crime plan.”
Director of Operations for the Road Safety Partnership, Stewart Edgar, who is also Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue’s Chief Fire Officer said,
“The personal consequences of suffering a road traffic collision and conviction was key to ‘tapping’ into the learners’ emotional intelligence.
“One of the greatest informants was the time it took for alcohol to leave the body – the young drivers and their passengers could not believe it! They are now able to make informed decisions – empowering positive behavioural change towards drink and drug driving is something I am in full support of”.
The PCC’s Safe and Social Driving Co-ordinator Louise White said:
“The Wrecked team aim to educate on the dangers of drink and drug driving in a way that is engaging and interactive, whilst still relaying the harsh realities.
“Staff in post 16 education are grateful for the support we provide to safeguard their students and the students themselves frequently stay behind at the end of a session to relay their appreciation for the newly acquired knowledge”.
The ‘Wrecked’ tour was also known as ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’
- ‘Good’ for dispelling myths about drink driving and ‘sobering up’ and showing how to calculate a unit of alcohol
- ‘Bad’ because the Constabulary enforces the law for people who have been ‘bad’ and risked killing or seriously injuring themselves or somebody else
- ‘Ugly’ because GFRS has to deal with the ‘ugly’ consequences of a serious road crash
Each ‘Wrecked’ session was an hour long and free to all schools and colleges with children aged 16 or over. Firefighters and police officers joined road safety education experts to discuss the issue and the serious impact on lives. Key messages included the personal and emotional consequences of being involved in a crash after drinking or taking drugs; the law and enforcement; the social and long term impact that a drink drive conviction can have, as well as ‘morning after’ drink driving and how to calculate a unit of alcohol.
The Wrecked workshop is now being booked by post 16 deliverers as part of their extracurricular programme for 2015-2016.