Teens warn their peers

A GROUP of Ponteland teenagers took to the stage to show their peers a hard-hitting message about the importance of sensible driving.

The ‘Road Sense, Common Sense’ event at The Sage Gateshead involved pupils from six schools across the Northumbria Police area, including year 12 and 13 students at Ponteland High School.

They worked with the force to produce creative multi-media projects. The students used film, photography and drama to highlight unsuitable behaviour and each school team worked on a different aspect of an imaginary storyline about a road traffic accident.

Northumbria Police Motor Patrols officer Jami Blythe, who was involved with the project, said: “The presentations, based on a main story, are not telling people what they should or shouldn’t do, but are asking them to think about the consequences of their actions.”

The group from Ponteland presented a monologue, video and some photographs for their part of the story to representatives from a range of organisations.

They focused on the young driver responsible for the collision and the impact through his eyes.

Speaking at the event, Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, said: “Road accidents are a huge killer of young people and we all need to send a message about road safety to our precious young people.

“No-one can speak to them like other young people.”

She praised all the organisations that had been involved with the event, adding: “But most of all, thanks must go to the schools for rising to the action to help keep us all safe on the roads.”

Chief Constable Sue Sim was impressed with the students’ work and she told them how “extremely proud” she was of them all.

She said she understood the peer pressure put on young drivers, but hoped that if any of them are put in such a situation, they would remember the “tremendous presentations” and think twice.

“Last year, nearly 200,000 people were injured as a result of collisions in Great Britain – of these 1,754 died as a result of their injuries,” she added.

“During the same year there were 552 murders across Great Britain, showing how collisions happen far more than murders do and how we’re all very prone and likely to become one of those statistics if we’re not careful.

“These presentations were exceptional and I hope you all do think and not become one of these statistics.”

The work from each of the schools can be found at www.northumbria.police.uk/ebeat (click on ‘my resources’, then ‘Teacher resources’ then ‘Road Sense, Common Sense’).