Hundreds of sixth form (sixth year) students from across Edinburgh are being given the opportunity to test out crash simulators, ‘drunk goggles’ and sit behind the wheel of an electric bus as part of an annual road safety event.
Now in its seventh year, the Streets Ahead Edinburgh Young Driver event is taking place this week (9-12 Oct) and sets out to help young people digest ‘extremely powerful’ safety messages about driving and sharing the road.
Mixing ‘fun and hard-hitting’ content, the event’s wider goal is to help young drivers keep themselves and others safe – by stressing that all road users need to look out for each other.
The annual event is jointly run by a range of partners including City of Edinburgh Council, Police Scotland, NHS Lothian, Scottish Fire & Rescue Service, Transport Scotland and Scottish Safety Camera Unit (East).
The 2017 event includes an interactive ‘mock court’, while students are also able to experience a seat belt slide and breathalyser – and a presentation by Police Scotland which features dash-cam footage of an incident involving a young driver.
Operation Close Pass is being used to show pupils the safe distances when overtaking a cyclist, while the cycling group Spokes is highlighting the need for drivers and cyclists to look out for each other.
Councillor Karen Doran, City of Edinburgh Council’s transport vice convener, said: “Our annual young driver events are always hugely popular. Their emphasis on fun, interactive elements combined with hard-hitting stories and messages gives sixth year pupils the chance to digest some extremely powerful safety messages about driving and sharing the road.
"By reaching these young drivers in this way, we are helping them to keep themselves and others safe by stressing that all road users need to look out for each other."
Inspector Roger Park, Police Scotland’s Road Policing Unit, said: "Keeping people safe is the cornerstone of Police Scotland and reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads plays a significant part in that process.
“My colleagues and I in Police Scotland are delighted to support this very useful and worthwhile event, where we will work closely with our partners in a multi-agency approach, engaging with young people who may be about to take up motoring in one form or another.”