The Safer Kirklees partnership hosted a road safety event for Kirklees students as part of National Road Safety Week.
The event, which ran today (24/11), saw students from local colleges and sixth-form school across Kirklees attend a number of interactive presentations from partner agencies including West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, West Yorkshire Police, the Ambulance Service and national road safety charity Brake who are based in Huddersfield.
The initiative was held at the John Smith’s Stadium in Huddersfield and was funded by a £2750 grant from the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, Mark Burns-Williamson’s Safer Communities Fund.
National Road Safety Week runs from Monday 20 November to Sunday 26 November and looks to raise awareness of the safe and responsible use of roads with a particular focus this year on speed.
Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “I was very pleased to give a grant to enable this road safety partnership event to go ahead. Young people are a really important audience and with their help we can make a positive difference on our roads now and in the future.
“Improving road safety can only be effective when we work together in partnership to educate and raise awareness. West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, West Yorkshire Police, the Ambulance Service and Brake all have key messages and roles to play in ensuring our roads are safe for everyone which I know is a key priority for many in our communities.”
Station Commander, Dale Gardiner or West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The aim of the roadshow is to spearhead significant and sustained reduction in death and serious injury on roads across Kirklees. Traditionally we have visited students in schools to deliver road safety messages.
“This roadshow allows ourselves and partners to work together on delivering one message in keeping drivers and passengers safer in Kirklees. We all have a responsibility to keep our roads safe, and therefore the more drivers we educate the safer Kirklees will become.
“We are continually looking at ways of engaging with students regarding road safety and this inaugural event is a great way of educating students on the benefit of road safety. We hope this will become an annual event for not just us and our partners but for the educational facilities across the District.”
Sergeant Paul James, of Huddersfield NPT, said: “I hope the students enjoyed the session today with all of our partner agencies and hope that it will make them think about their safety on the roads and of others.
“It is always extremely difficult for us as police officers to attend scenes where people have been seriously injured or killed, especially when the victims are young people.
“We are continually raising awareness as a police Force of the Fatal 4 dangers on the roads, which in drink or drug driving, speeding, mobile phone use and not wearing a seat belt.
“Early intervention and education are the most effective ways of changing attitudes and ultimately reducing the chances of these young adults being involved in a fatal or serious injury collision in the future.”
Councillor Shabir Pandor, deputy leader of Kirklees Council, said: “As our young people begin start learning to drive it is really important that they understand how to stay safe on the roads, and that driving fast can cost lives – sessions like this one really help to get the message home and will hopefully reduce the likelihood of anyone being involved in an road traffic incident in future.”
Dave Nichols, community engagement manager for Brake, said: “We’re delighted Safer Kirklees, with support from Mark Burns-Williamson, has got involved with Road Safety Week and strengthened Brake’s campaign for safer roads. As a Huddersfield-based global charity it is always great to have activities happening here on our doorstep, which supports the message that has been shared by communities across the UK this week. We all live busy lives and there is a temptation to speed up in the hope of saving time, where in fact we could be costing lives. That is why we are encouraging everyone in Kirklees, especially young people, to raise awareness about the important message of Speed Down Save Lives.”