A paralympic gold medalist is encouraging schools and colleges across Kent to make use of a purpose built road safety experience centre to help teach students about the importance of staying safe at the wheel.
Following a visit to the Kent and Medway Road Safety Experience, paralympic gold medalist Charlotte Evans MBE said it was ‘incredible’ to see first-hand what happens in the aftermath of a serious crash.
The event was organised for the paralympian, who is a youth ambassador for the Kent Police’s volunteer police cadet scheme, so she could learn more about the work the centre carries out to keep young people safe on the roads.
The centre, located in Rochester and described as the ‘first purpose built, interactive centre of its kind in the UK’, uses a combination of ‘powerful’ stories, interactive experiences and information from road safety experts.
Launched in June 2016, the centre is designed to encourage young people to look at the potential consequences of a road crash from all perspectives – for themselves, their passengers, other drivers and their families.
Primarily aimed at 14 to 25 year olds, the Road Safety Experience, created and run by Kent Fire & Rescue Service, provides supervised education visits for up to 90 young people a day. It is offered free of charge to all schools, colleges and groups in Kent and Medway.
As part of the visit Charlotte Evans, who achieved Britain’s first ever winter games gold medal for skiing with partner Kelly Gallagher, was able to use the interactive displays that are designed to provoke visitors into thinking about the risks that they face on the road.
She was also shown a theatre presentation that uses a combination of film and live action to demonstrate a crash rescue scenario.
Charlotte Evans said: “I was very impressed with the Road Safety Experience and it was interesting to get an insight into how the centre uses interactive and thought-provoking displays to deliver powerful road safety messages in a way that young people can respond to.
“It was incredible to see first-hand what happens in the aftermath of a serious crash and to see how the team there encourage young people, many of whom will be passengers as well as drivers, to understand the dangers of distraction, speeding and impairment due to alcohol or drugs.
“As youth ambassador for the Kent Police volunteer cadet scheme I will be helping to spread the message about the Road Safety Experience and I would encourage all secondary schools and colleges in Kent and Medway to book their students on a visit to the centre.”