Young scholars and community staff from Stevenage FC and Stevenage FC Foundation recently got an insight into the importance of taking care on the road and the reality of what can occur when things go wrong.

The officers from Stevenage Police and Stevenage Fire Station held a workshop at the St Georges Way station to demonstrate the consequences of driving too fast or carelessly with facts and statistics of the sort of punishments and fines that drivers can be liable for, as well as a practical demonstration of what those involved in a car accident have to go through in order to be rescued from their vehicle.

The 25 young drivers had the opportunity to ask questions about the roles that both the Fire Service and Police provide locally and were also given a tour of the Fire Station.

Fire Prevention Coordinator, Julie Springett said:

“Statistics show that 1 in 5 young drivers age between 17 and 25 have an accident within 6 months of passing their test.  When I was approached by Stevenage Football Club Foundation and Herts Police it was a perfect opportunity to invite their young players and staff to the Fire Station and show them the consequences of driving distractions, being under the influence and driving too fast.

“This was a really positive session that involved practical demonstrations of being extricated from a car, which we hope has reinforced our safety messages”.

Sergeant Martin May said:

“The police are always happy to be involved in projects such as this.  Driving whilst using a mobile phone is very dangerous and people who do so not only put their own life at risk, but the lives of other motorists and pedestrians.

“Studies have shown that your reaction times are 50 per cent slower if you use a mobile phone while driving and you are four times more likely to have a collision. Comparisons have been made to it impairing your ability to drive to a similar degree as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

“It doesn’t matter how carefully you think you are driving – being distracted by a call or text can lead to a split-second lapse in concentration which could result in a crash.

“By working in partnership with other emergency services and organisations such as Stevenage Football Club and the Foundation I hope we can spread the message about being safe whilst you are driving and bring down the number of accidents on the road.”

Stevenage FC, Professional Development Phase Coach, Jorden Gibson said:

"When approached by Stevenage FC Foundation, we felt this would be a huge benefit to our young aspiring footballers. People often have this perception of the modern footballer driving fancy cars and being detached from their fans, however, the damaging consequence of what can happen if you don't drive carefully can be heartfelt to many.

I was touched by the serious reaction by all of our players and staff and encourage everyone to continue to understand the importance of road safety. Four scholars were (I use the word lightly) fortunate, to experience what it would be like in a car accident, having to be cut out and were genuinely scared.

From all of the Academy players and staff, I would like to pass on our massive thanks, and show our huge gratitude to the firefighters and emergency services for putting this event on and the excellent work they do in the community as a whole.''

Joe Goude, Head of Stevenage FC Foundation added:

“We’d like to thank Inspector Simon Tabert & Sergeant Martin May from Stevenage Police as well as Fire Prevention Coordinator, Julie Springett for their support in putting on such a great workshop for our young staff and scholars. Road safety is something the Foundation takes very seriously and the workshop provided a real glimpse into a scenario that we hope none of the scholars or staff will ever have to face. The morning really opened our eyes to the amazing work that the emergency services do day in day out”.