Road Safety News
 

Donated Porsche will help efforts to reach young drivers

Monday 10th April 2017

Norfolk Constabulary is using a Porsche Cayman GT4 to break down barriers with young drivers and help officers deliver road safety advice.

The vehicle has been loaned for a two-year period by the Lind Trust, a charity which supports the development of young people in Norwich and Norfolk.

Complete with police livery and interior blue lights, the vehicle will be at the forefront of the Force’s engagement with young drivers, under the #Porsche999 hashtag.

Norfolk’s chief constable Simon Bailey hopes the GT4 will help the force engage with ‘hard-to-reach groups’ by acting as a conversation starter.

Young drivers are disproportionately represented in fatal and serious collision statistics in Norfolk, as is the case nationwide. Over the last five years, 61 young drivers have lost their lives in the county, while 504 have suffered serious injury.

The GT4 will be used at events such as the Royal Norfolk Show and taken to areas where car enthusiasts and young people are known to gather. It will also visit schools and colleges throughout the county.

Chief constable Simon Bailey said: “Engagement and education are vital elements of the work on road safety undertaken by roads policing officers. I’m confident the use of the Porsche will help break down barriers and enable officers to speak with young drivers and provide road safety advice.

"The GT4 will certainly attract a lot of attention – but that’s the whole idea. We hope the car will act as a conversation starter, which gives us the opportunity to engage with people, but more importantly those hard-to-reach groups like young drivers, and offer practical advice as well as describing what can happen when things go wrong.”

Graham Dacre, from the Lind Trust, said: “This is an important initiative to be involved in. The Porsche GT4 is every young driver’s dream and it will be a talking point in their world; I can see them responding well to this initiative.”

The #Porsche999 campaign will run alongside other young driver initiatives in Norfolk, including the Police and Crime Commissioner’s #Impact campaign and a young driver education presentation which is delivered in schools.

 

 

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Many Fire Services now have Fire Bikes on the grounds that riders will engage with them while not wishing to talk to the nasty, oppressive Police. I therefore wait with bated breath for either the first Fire Porsche, or Fire Aston Martin to take to our roads.

Might I add that this vehicle has already generated a huge amount of adverse publicity on local social media? Despite making it widely known that it has been loaned to the Police, many are moaning about the money spent on this vehicle and saying, "Why don't you go and catch a few burglars?" Sadly, the Police cannot win as far as many people are concerned.
David, Suffolk

Agree (3) | Disagree (0)
+3

I'm sure it will draw attention from the right target audience and be a conversation starter and in that sense it's not a bad idea, but I fear the opening question (and possibly only question) from some excited admirers might be "How fast does it go?". "Much faster than anyone ever needs a car to go on the highway!" should be the answer, from which, a subtle message diminishing the glamour and misplaced need for speed and excitement on the roads amongst young males could follow, but as Pat says, it depends on having the right staff on hand to deliver that message. Maybe there could even be a placard on the car highlighting its performance figures, followed by a rhetorical question "..but what's the point?"
(Just to clarify, my earlier question "Couldn't this backfire?" was not a slight on the efficiency of German automotive fuel delivery systems.)
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (6) | Disagree (1)
+5

Yes, it could possibly backfire but some'hard to reach' young drivers and passengers will engage and for some something about the possible consequences of risky driving behavior will be heard here and probably no where else. What they take away will depend to some extent on having the right staff to deliver the message. Step forward please anyone with a list of other proven projects for 'hard to reach' drivers.
Pat, Wales

Agree (9) | Disagree (0)
+9

Couldn't this backfire? Some young males are drawn to this sort of car believing that 'performance' is the be-all and end-all of driving and may even see the police's association with it as an endorsement of using such cars on the highway. Young males are impressionable and tend to over-estimate their driving skills and may be tempted to buy a cheaper 'pseudo-performance car' or customised small hatchback and er... crash in it.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (11) | Disagree (1)
+10