Do you choose life or death?

Every year London citizens hear about horrific road traffic accidents around them which often lead to death (despite the numerous rules and safety procedures put in place for driving) leading them to reconsider the extent of their own safety while travelling.

There is no doubt that this issue must be tackled.

Safe Drive, Stay Alive is a production owned by Transport for London with 16 participating boroughs in partnership with it. The programme, which is now a fixture in the education calendar for most sixth forms, acknowledges the severity of this issue and attempts to reduce road casualties amongst young drivers aged 17-24 which figures show is the age range who are much more likely to be involved in that situation.

Sixth form students in the borough of Hounslow gathered together this October to attend Safe Drive, Stay Alive where they viewed a graphic film, learned more about the reality of risks associated with driving and the risks some young drivers seem to more likely take whilst also listening to personal stories by people affected by road accidents.

Consisting of members of the Metropolitan Police, London Ambulance Service, London Fire Brigade as well as a father of a young teenage pedestrian victim and a passenger affected by an irresponsible young diver, the event brought to light the main causes of such horrific accidents (such as drink-driving and driving when you are tired, not wearing a seatbelt and going over the speed limit) and the direct consequences of it on people’s lives both physically and mentally.

The event highlighted the life-changing effect of taking just one irreversible risk. Being impacted by the real and raw programme, Isabel Sanz, a student, in response to the people’s personal stories said, “The stories were very moving and hard-hitting. The thing that made the stories so moving was the fact that they were all real and we could see first-hand the devastating effects that road accidents have on people’s lives. In particular, the man whose daughter was killed had a huge impact on me because of how detailed his descriptions were and how he then revealed the girl he was speaking about was his daughter, this was very shocking and moving.”

By taking a wrong decision on the road or before you even decide to start your car, you take a risk and this risk will determine life or death.

So, to all drivers, let the mantra of this programme and the people affected reach you with the words ‘safe drive and stay alive’!

Amber Silva