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Manchester police and emergency services assemble to launch Safe Drive Stay Alive campaign

Safe Drive Stay Alive is back for its 10-year of delivery as emergency services from across Greater Manchester alongside families that have lost their loved ones, join together to save lives and reduce the number of young people involved in road traffic collisions.

The project, which will take place between Wednesday 1 November – Friday 17 November 2023 - is funded by Safer Roads GM Partnership and supported by Transport for Greater Manchester.

The Safer Roads Partnership and comprises of Greater Manchester Police (GMP), Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service (GMFRS), North West Ambulance Service (NWAS), Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM).

The 'Fatal 4’, which consists of speeding, distraction, drink and drug driving, and non-seatbelt wearing is covered within the performances.

This hard-hitting project will be attended this year by more than 8,000 sixth form and college students, making it more than 50,000 students across Greater Manchester who have seen the performance since its inception 10 years ago.

Being involved in a road traffic collision is one of the biggest risks for young people, with 17-25 year-olds continuing to be disproportionately represented in the casualty statistics of those killed or seriously injured on the roads.

Inexperience means that young people are at particular risk and have less ability to spot hazards, as well as being more likely to take risks such as overtaking or speeding. 133 people have sadly died in road traffic collisions in the last 10 years in Greater Manchester with 1,384 people suffering injuries this year.

Superintendent Gareth Parkin from GMP said: “GMP continue to be fully committed to supporting Safe Drive, Stay Alive. As we move into the 10th year of delivery, promoting road safety and safe driving amongst our younger road users, it has never been more important to help young people make the right choices when travelling on our roads.”

GMFRS Group Manager Pat Johnson said: “Safe Drive Stay Alive is an excellent long running multi-agency production that contains clear messages for young people about the consequences of not taking driving seriously. The messages are vividly brought to life by 999 workers and the families of young people who have tragically been injured or killed. The production is hard-hitting and moving, and the impact it has on the young people in the audience is tremendous.”

TfGM Head of Highways, Control and Operational Support Peter Boulton said: “The Safer Roads Greater Manchester Partnership are delighted to continue to support and fund Safe Drive Stay Alive. Our young people are disproportionately represented in the killed and seriously injured collisions within Greater Manchester. This multi-agency, thought provoking programme engages with young drivers, including those starting to drive and their passengers by providing them with the knowledge on the consequences of risk taking and aims to positively influence their attitude and behaviour both for today and the future.

NWAS Assistant Director of Resilience Steve Hynes added: “Safe Drive Stay Alive is more than a performance-based road safety event, it’s a lifesaving event for everyone. Over the past nine years Safe Drive GM have been delivering these events to young drivers, it has empowered them, and everyone present to make safe driving choices, it has saved lives. The events presented by GMFRS, GMP, Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust and Northwest Ambulance Service, and the families affected by road traffic collisions is a must for everyone and more so for your drivers.”

Active Travel Commissioner for Greater Manchester Dame Sarah Storey said: “I’m horrified by the deaths and injuries happening on our roads every day - but unlike stabbings or the use of other weapons, this toll goes under-reported - yet the consequences are immeasurable for a huge circle of people around those victims, including the region's first responders who will bravely share their stories at this event.

“It is for all these reasons I have been leading on the region's plan to work towards a future where there are no road deaths or serious injuries.

“Under the 'Vision Zero' approach everyone who uses the region’s roads will have a role to play in keeping other road users safe and the region's leaders and transport teams will look to tackle the danger at source by designing the road systems so that mistakes are not so catastrophically costly.

“This 'safe systems' approach will also ensure that those driving the vehicles with the potential to cause the greatest harm, understand these risks and the responsibilities required when behind the wheel.”

Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire Kate Green concluded: “Our emergency services witness the devastating consequences of careless driving on a daily basis and our firefighters now rescue more people from road traffic collisions than fires.

“Safe Drive Stay Alive is part of our commitment to reducing the number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads. The sobering and moving testimonies delivered by emergency service workers and families impacted by road traffic collisions are a powerful way to educate young people as they approach driving age.”

Ann-Marie Hornsby joined emergency services on stage to talk about the death of her son, Colin, from Droylsden, who tragically lost his life in 2018 when the car he was a passenger in collided with another vehicle. Calvin Buckley, who sadly lost his partner Frankie Jules-Hough and their unborn child of 17 weeks due to a speeding driver, helped the team at Safe Drive produce a video talking about the impact the death of Frankie has had on him and his family.

For more information, please visit www.safedrivegm.co.uk


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