It’s A Smash Hit: Tough talking crash theatre to cut teen deaths

Drive Safe

What could be more exciting than passing your driving test? Getting out there, on your own, on the open road? What if it’s all a little too exciting? What if that first drive – is also your last?

More than 5,000 young people dead and injured on the road last year, in London alone - a hard-hitting Harrow Arts Centre production is addressing the issue, head on, for Road Safety Week.

The 90-minute Safe Drive, Stay Alive event - combining film and true stories from people affected by car crashes – is must-see viewing for new drivers aged 17-24. It’s not just for drivers – it’s for passengers too – as a roadmap to the hazards of texting, peer pressure, distractions, drugs and drink.

Cllr Christine Robson, Portfolio Holder for Children, Schools and Young People, said: “It’s every parent’s worst nightmare when you hand over those keys for the first time. It’s not that you worry about young drivers doing something stupid. No matter how good a driver you are – this performance really brings home how much damage can be done in just a few short seconds. Reading just one text, one tweet – having just one drink too many – and the impact can and does ruin lives.

“I really believe this performance will save lives. That’s how important Road Safety Week is to us.”

Safe Drive, Stay Alive features a filmed reconstruction of a car crash interspersed with true testimonies from a police officer, a paramedic and firefighters. A bereaved parent and a seriously injured crash survivor also speak about their ordeals.

Harrow Council’s Road Safety Team has worked with Brent Council, Transport for London, NHS and Emergency Services to deliver the educational programme.

In 2016 there were 5,260 young adults aged between 16-24 involved in a road traffic collision in London. Of young adult casualties, 41% were car occupants, 28% were powered two-wheeler users, 16% were pedestrians, and 11% were pedal cyclists.

Road Safety Week (November 20-26) aims to inspire thousands of schools, organisations and communities to take action on road safety and promote life-saving messages during the week and in the future. It is the UK’s biggest road safety event which is coordinated annually by road safety charity Brake.