The hard-hitting ‘Safe Drive Stay Alive‘ project is celebrating a decade of aiming to reduce the number of young people involved in road traffic collisions.
The performance contains elements of the ‘Fatal 4’: speeding, distraction, drink and drug driving, and non-seatbelt wearing.
More than 8,000 sixth form and college students are expected to see the show this year, making it more than 50,000 students across Greater Manchester who have seen it in the last ten years.
The show is running until Friday, November 17 and is funded by Safer Roads GM Partnership – which comprises of Greater Manchester Police (GMP), Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS), North West Ambulance Service (NWAS), Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM).
Ann-Marie Hornsby joined emergency services on stage to talk about the death of her son, Colin, from Droylsden at this year’s first performance
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.
Deputy Mayor for policing, crime, criminal justice and fire, Kate Green, said: “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.”
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.”
Engaging young drivers
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.”
Peter Boulton, TfGM head of highways, control and operational support, 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.”