The Hertfordshire Road Safety Partnership has unveiled its new ‘crash car’ will be used to educate young drivers about the dangers of speeding, drink driving, not wearing a seatbelt and driving while using a mobile phone.
The vehicle is a modified Ford Focus that acts as a simulator, using hydraulics, smoke and light systems to “powerfully bring home the causes and effects of collisions on the roads”.
Sixth-form students from a local secondary school attended the launch and were impressed by what they saw, according to the Partnership.
One student from Richard Hale School said: “The simulated crash was scary, but more than that it was eye-opening. It’s a realistic scenario and it really does show how you one minute you can be in a car listening to music and the next you can have crashed.
“It’s important to make sure we know what we’re doing when we’re driving. It’s not about scaring us, it’s about teaching us.”
Hertfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service has also launched a new Rescue Support Unit – a specialised fire engine that carries the latest equipment to help fire fighters free drivers and passengers from crashed vehicles and provide trauma care at the scene.
Councillor Ralph Sangster, Hertfordshire County Council, said: “Young drivers remain one of our most vulnerable groups of road users, with dozens of 17 to 24 year olds being seriously injured on our roads every year.
“That’s why we’re investing in these new vehicles, both to help us respond to collisions and, more importantly, to help us engage with young drivers and prevent them in the first place.”
Inspector Phil Bloor from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit, said: “The crash car simulator is highly effective at engaging young people with the subject of road safety and can convey – often better than words alone – the very real dangers involved in driving on the road.
“It is a very effective vehicle for our road safety message and will be appearing at events around the county helping to encourage young motorists to drive safely and responsibly.”
The crash car will be used in conjunction with the Learn 2 Live events that will be taking place throughout Hertfordshire in September and at other road safety events throughout the year.