Lifting the lid on impact of drink-driving for Carterton pupils

First published in News Witney Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Witney and West Oxfordshire. Call me on 01865 425483

YOU’D be forgiven for mistaking this scene for a real-life car smash.

In fact it was a mock rescue attempt by fire crews to highlight the dangers of drink-driving.

Students at Carterton Community College watched on as their teachers were cut from the vehicle by firefighters.

The road safety event at the college in Upavon Way saw two fire crews cutting the roof off a red car to save the passenger after a couple had supposedly been to a party.

They used a spinal board to mock-up taking her away from treatment. And the driver, played by drama teacher Will Gregson, was “arrested” on suspicion of drink-driving.

Mr Gregson said: “It was a very enlightening event and also quite scary. The emergency services contributed excellently to the exercise and I think it really helped to drive home the message about keeping safe on the roads for the pupils – and for myself.”

Deputy head of English Heather Ross-McCue, who played the role of the passenger, added: “Seeing someone being cut out of a car first hand brought it to life.”

The demonstration formed part of the Year 11 pupils’ personal, social and health education and was a joint project between Oxfordshire County Council's Fire and Rescue Service and Thames Valley Police.

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Burford Fire Station watch manager Kevin Robbins said he wanted to engage with the pupils on a practical level so they were aware of the consequences.

And Carterton PCSO Ross Windsor pointed out that most of the pupils would soon be passing their driving or motorcycle tests and getting out onto the roads for the first time.

He added: “This gave the students a realistic insight into what the emergency services do at the scene of a road traffic collision and what happens when a drink or drug-driver gets arrested.”

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