Hard-hitting road safety event for young people returns for eleventh year

Safe Drive Stay Alive, the thought-provoking road safety show attended by all senior school pupils in the north-east of Scotland, returns this week for its eleventh year.

The hard-hitting stage show features real life testimony from the emergency services who regularly deal with road collisions and from members of the public whose lives have been affected by road collisions in an extreme and profound way.

Around 5,000 school pupils from Aberdeen City, Shire and Moray, of an age when they are becoming old enough to learn to drive, will be bussed to the Beach Ballroom in Aberdeen to see the show from Monday, November 2 to Thursday, November 5.

A free evening show for the general public is also being held at the Beach Ballroom from 7.15pm on Wednesday, November 4.

The evening show is open to anybody to come along, see Safe Drive Stay Alive and learn more about road safety issues affecting local young people.

As well as appearances from members of the emergency services who regularly attend traumatic scenes on local roads, the stage show also features testimony from a father who lost his daughter in a road traffic collision.

By combining real life experiences with an emotive film, the show leaves the audience in little doubt how a mistake or lapse in concentration can change lives forever.

The number of casualties in road traffic collisions has fallen from an average of 1,263 in the period 2001-2005 to 1,166 between 2009 and 2013, a reduction of around 8%.

The number of fatalities in road traffic collisions in the north east has seen further reduction and the five year average for 2009-13 is at the lowest level recorded.

In the past five years there have been 1,368 casualties from road collisions involving 17–25 year olds. Of those 25 were fatal and 329 people were seriously injured.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Community Safety Partnership, Douglas Milne, said: “Safe Drive Stay Alive is primarily targeted at all S5 pupils in Grampian, to make sure that when they get behind the wheel for the first time, they are aware of the responsibility they are taking on and the issues which could affect their safety and that of their passengers.

“It is also important that parents take on that road safety message and are reinforcing it with their teenagers at home.

“This show is not just for youngsters, but delivers a powerful reminder to anybody using our roads about how easy it is to get distracted or make a mistake, and what a devastating impact it can have on the lives of a whole range of people.”

David Rout, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Group Manager for Aberdeenshire and Moray, said: “We remain committed to contributing to maximising casualty reduction across the north east road network by working together with our partners.

“Safe Drive Stay Alive is an excellent example of educating our young people about keeping safe on our roads and I would encourage people to attend the public event if they’re interested.”

Safe Drive Stay Alive Aberdeen is a partnership between Aberdeenshire Council, Aberdeen City Council, Moray Council, Police Scotland, Scottish Ambulance Service, NHS Grampian and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

The road safety show is sponsored by ExxonMobil and Digby Brown LLP.

Exxonmobil Community Affairs Manager, Ian Hackers, said: “We are pleased to have been a sponsor of the Safe Drive Stay Alive programme in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray since it began in 2004.

“More than 180,000 young people throughout the UK have attended an ExxonMobil-sponsored road show in recent years and we welcome the opportunity to work closely with the various agencies involved in the safe drive partnership.

“Safe Drive Stay Alive presents an opportunity to make a real difference to young people as they start their driving careers.”

Digby Brown LLP Partner, Lisa Gregory, said: “Digby Brown LLP is pleased to sponsor the Safe Drive Stay Alive show this year. Driving safety is a big concern for many communities in Scotland and the live production is a unique way of engaging young people in such an important issue – we’re proud to be part of it.”

For more information about the evening session, contact Diane Strachan on (01569) 768206, or email: diane.strachan@aberdeenshire.gov.uk