All too often we hear in the news instances of lives being lost due to drink driving. Alcohol slows driver’s reactions, increases stopping distances, impairs judgement of speed and distance and affects vision. The more you drink, the more confident you become and the more likely you are to take risks – a potentially deadly mix when sitting behind the wheel.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has called for many years for the drink-drive limit to be reduced and for police to be given wider powers to conduct random breath tests. To help combat the culture of drinking and driving, RoSPA believes that a package of measures should be introduced, including: lowering the maximum blood alcohol limit from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg/100ml; evidential roadside breath testing; and wider powers for the police to breath test drivers to increase drivers’ perception of the risk of being caught without necessarily placing additional demands upon police resources, among others.
Helping to shine a light on the dangers of drinking and driving are pupils and students from across Wales, who entered the 2011 Multimedia Anti Drink Drive Competition, organised by Road Safety Wales. Groups of 11-25 year olds were invited to get together to devise, perform and record a live action multimedia presentation for RoSPA to help alert people against drink driving. The four regional winning entries made for thought-provoking viewing and took the form of an advert, news bulletin, film and music video, which earned the creators £500 for their school/college.
Yale College in Wrexham, North Wales, has entered the annual competition every year without fail since its inception four years ago. “A Lost Beauty” depicts the story of a young woman whose modelling aspirations are cut short as a consequence of drink driving.
Ysgol Maesydderwen in Ystradgynlais, Dyfed Powys, created a news bulletin titled “News for Numpties”, in which they focus on the core message that drink driving is dangerous, futile and can lead to life-changing consequences for families.
Spark Blaenymaes and Blaenymaes Primary School, in Swansea, South Wales, chose to portray the message that driving after “just one drink” can lead to tragic events. The piece reminds drivers that even a single alcoholic drink has a detrimental effect on their reaction time.
The winning entry for Gwent comes from Lewis School, Pengam, Caerphilly. Pupil and composer Richard Morgan teamed up with Amanda Leaver to produce this moving, original music video for their entry entitled “Find A Way”. The piece captures the sadness brought about by drink driving and conveys a serious message to viewers.
It is inspiring to see what can be achieved with little resources and lots of imagination, and fingers crossed these videos created by the youth of today will go some way towards stressing the importance of not drinking and driving.
Teenagers interested in learning more about safety on the road, at leisure, in the home or in the workplace should visit www.facebook.com/rospayouthnetwork?sk=wall
Michelle Harrington, road safety manager at RoSPA Wales