During an hour-long presentation from police, fire and ambulance the year 12 pupils of King Jame’s School heard first hand what happens during a road accident and how it made them feel.
This is part of Harrogate District Community Safety Partnership’s road safety initiative, Learn and Live, which is a hard-hitting campaign aimed at Year 12 students which brings together all the emergency services to deliver a strong message.
Between January and September 2010, 68 young people have been killed or seriously injured in road traffic accidents in North Yorkshire, 23 of those in the Harrogate district. Schemes like this are aimed at to help improve those figures by bringing awareness to the most vulnerable group.
The hour-long presentation was by lead by each emergency service in turn recounting stories from their own personal experiences.
Video footage showed graphically what can happen during an accident, including a paramedic recounting their arrival to the scene of an accident where a young lad had been hit by a van whilst walking into the road using his mobile phone.
Ian Pope of the Harrogate Police spoke further about arriving at the scene of an accident and having to find and then tell relatives about what had happened, he spoke honestly about how that made him feel.
It pulled few punches and James Ljungdell explained the stark reality of part of his job with recovering fatalities from vehicles and one particular eerie part being when victims mobile phones ring during an incident.
The messages were given in a very straight-forward and direct way, not over sensationalised but in a way that gained the attention of the entire room.
Initiatives like this pulling together a number of groups should be applauded and it is hoped this can be taken to many schools in the region.