Christmas Road Traffic Campaign and Community Safety Open Day

Pictured left to right are Newport Retained Firefighter Charles Simpson, Mayor of Newport Councillor Glyn Gratton and Chief Fire Officer Alan Taylor with the high-tech cutting equipment used to release the Mayor from the Ford Fiesta

Fire officers staged a major car crash exhibition in Newport aimed at educating motorists not to drink and drive this Christmas and New Year.

The Christmas Road Traffic Campaign and Community Safety Open Day was held at Newport Fire Station and featured the Newport Mayor being freed from the wreckage of a Ford Fiesta by Newport retained firefighters using hi-tec cutting equipment.

A second demonstration was performed by firefighters from Wellington with help from the ambulance service and St John Ambulance with commentary from Leading Firefighter Martin Richardson, of Newport Station.

Two chip pan fire simulations were also carried out by Newport firefighters to show the dangers of putting water onto a burning chip pan and informing the public how to extinguish the blaze using a damp tea towel. The chip pan should not be moved while burning.

Attending the event were police, ambulance, the Safety Camera Partnership and road safety experts, including ROSPA, Local Authority Road Safety Department, Institute of Advanced Motorists and driver education specialists, the TTC Group. Halford's gave advice on child car seat design and the recent legislation and there were also a range of specialist fire appliances on show.

"Christmas time is a happy period, when people enjoy eating and drinking but, all too often, we have seen the tragic results of drink driving, which is more prevalent at this time of the year," said Station Officer Dave Dickens.

"We held this event to get over to more than 200 visitors not to drink and drive. It was a very successful event."

Last year Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service attended more than 350 road traffic collisions in which there were 17 deaths and 121 casualties.

"Much of our time is spent at road crashes across the county and we want to get the message across to Shropshire motorists that they must take more care on our roads."

The A41 Weston Heath to Tern Hill and the B5062 Newport to Crudgington road has been the scene of some serious incidents in recent years, added Mr Dickens.

Firefighters regularly help educate sixth formers and students at Newport Girls High School and the Harper Adams Agricultural College about the road safety dangers.

20th December, 2006