Christmas road traffic campaign and community safety open day at Newport fire station

Firefighters demonstrate the importance of using high-tech equipment to remove a car roof when releasing victims involved in road traffic collisions at Harper Adams Agricultural College in May, 2006

Fire officers are staging a major public exhibition on car crashes in Newport aimed at educating motorists in the wake of the large number of drivers being cut free from the wreckage of their vehicles on the roads of Shropshire.

The "Christmas Road Traffic Campaign and Community Safety Open Day" will be held at Newport Fire Station on Saturday, December 16 from 11am to 4pm and will feature demonstrations by retained firefighters using hi-tech cutting equipment to show how car occupants are freed after a collision.

Attending the event will be the Police, Ambulance Service, St John 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 will give advice on child car seat design and recent legislation and there will also be specialist fire appliances on show.

"Last year Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service attended more than 350 road traffic collisions in which there were 17 deaths and 121 casualties. These figures are clearly not acceptable," said Station Officer Dave Dickens.

"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."

Driving at speed and not slowing down on wet roads coupled with poor car maintenance, tyre blowouts, driving under the influence of drink and drugs and a lack of concentration are the causes of many road crashes, he said.

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.

An event earlier this year was held in Edgmond to educate students on road safety at Harper Adams Agricultural College after a series of car crashes in which teenagers were killed. Because of the initial success of this event it is envisaged that this will be staged annually to promote road safety to new intakes at the College and to other Newport sixth formers.

The event will also include community safety issues for all age groups. There will be demonstrations on the potential damage that chip pan fires can cause, community safety advice, advice for the elderly in keeping warm this winter and recruitment for Newport Fire Station.

8th December, 2006