Between the 8th and 14th June 2015 Fire and Rescue Services across the UK are coming together to raise awareness of the dangers to young drivers of driving whilst distracted.

Driving is a risky activity, so it requires full attention at all times. Drivers who are distracted significantly increase their risk of causing a devastating crash.

The target audience for this week are young drivers and passengers because although driving distraction is a significant risk for all drivers, if combined with the inexperience of a newly-qualified driver it becomes an even more deadly cocktail.

Station Manager Mark Naylor, road safety lead for North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “Although the Fire Service does not have a statutory duty to deliver road safety education, we do so because we attend road traffic collisions, with other emergency services, to release seriously injured people from vehicles. If we continue to all work together to educate and inform drivers we will hopefully reduce collisions, deaths and injuries on our roads. The consequences of a road traffic collision, especially ones that involves a fatality, stay with people for a very long time.

“Unfortunately, what we call the fatal four, i.e. speed, seat belt, drink and mobile phones, play a part in the contributory factors leading to a collision. Mobile phone use is very common, the amount of drivers I see looking at, or using them, is worrying. If drivers knew they were four times more likely to crash when using a mobile phone whilst driving, they may stop doing it. In fact, road collisions are the biggest cause of death for young adults aged between 15 and 19. This is why the fire and rescue service, and partners, are keen to raise awareness of the dangers to this group and help save lives through road safety events. Help us, to help you, please put your mobile device out of sight whilst driving!”

Distracted driving activities include things like using a mobile phone, texting, and eating. Using in vehicle technologies (such as navigation systems) can also be sources of distraction.

Passengers are also a big source of distraction and have an important role to play in helping the driver to be able to concentrate on just driving. So the campaign will also be targeting messages about this too.

During the week there will be a range of events and activities supported by North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and 95Alive, the York and North Yorkshire Road Safety Partnership.

On Monday 8th June we will be hosting the launch event for the week at Lady Lumley’s School in Pickering.

This will involve a number of demonstrations and interactive sessions for some of the students who attend the school, including demo car, reaction tester, driver simulator and a casualty rescue demonstration by a fire crew from Malton.

Attending this launch will be Chief Fire Officer Nigel Hutchinson who is also the CFOA Road Safety lead, along with Andrew Jones MP, Honor Byford, Chair of Road Safety GB and David and Janet Warin (MBEs) who lost their son Daniel in a road traffic collision.

Throughout the rest of the week North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and 95Alive will be holding a number of other events including:

Monday 8th June

  • Road Safety advice event at RAF Leeming Spa Shop 11am-2pm
  • Motorcycle Safety Event at Squires Café, at Sherburn in Elmet 1:30pm-4pm
  • Road Traffic Collision Demo to York College Construction Department 1pm
  • Seatbelt Survey at Malton College 3pm-4pm
  • Seatbelt Survey on Water Street in Skipton 3pm-4pm
  • Vehicle Safety checks, Richmond Market Place 10am-12noon
  • Road Safety Advice, Scarborough sea front 8:30pm

Tuesday 9th June

  • Demo Car Hazard Awareness Event at Bentham 10am-12noon
  • Road Safety Presentation at Richmond 6th Form College
  • Seatbelt Sled Event at Harrogate College
  • Vehicle Safety Inspection Richmond 6th Form College car park 3pm
  • Seatbelt Survey at Settle Primary School 3pm-4pm
  • Road Traffic Collision Demonstration at Selby College 12noon-1pm

Wednesday 10th June

  • Walking School Bus, Ruswarp School, Whitby
  • Seatbelt Survey, Skipton 8:30am
  • Road Safety Event Tesco in Northallerton 9:30am-1:30pm
  • Road Safety Event, Askham Bryan College, York 11am-3pm

Thursday 11th June

  • Seatbelt Survey at South Craven School
  • Road Safety advice and info, RAF Leeming
  • Road Traffic Collision Demo, Victoria Shopping Centre, Harrogate 2pm-4pm
  • Seatbelt Survey, Thirsk Primary School 2:30pm-15:45pm
  • Young Road User Awareness Evening, MacDonald’s, Selby 6pm-8pm

Friday 12th June

  • Road Safety School Visit at Braeburn School 9am
  • Driver Distraction Event, Catterick Garrison 12noon-4pm
  • Seatbelt Survey, Brougham Street, Scholl, Skipton 3pm-4pm
  • Road Safety Event, Halfords, Scarborough 3:30pm-7pm
  • Demo Car Hazard Awareness Event at Wharfdale School 12noon-1:30pm

Saturday 13th June

  • Motorcycles and Distraction Event, Hawes Market Place 10am-3pm
  • Road Traffic Collision Demo, Ripon Market Place 2pm-4pm

Sunday 14th June

  • Advice to attendees of Modified Car Show in Pickering