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Home Thanet News Article
A hot hatch stole the show when it made its debut in Ramsgate as the latest tool in a countywide road safety campaign for young people.
The modified Vauxhall Astra was centre of attention at the Marlowe Academny when Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) demonstrated life saving tips to students.
One main message was ensuring students understood the importance of not causing distraction as a passenger. Tips included putting mobile phones on silent, not arguing with others in the vehicle, and not talking to a driver concentrating at busy junctions.
Other advice highlighted the importance of wearing seatbelts, not getting into overcrowded cars, and avoiding getting a lift from anyone under the influence of alcohol.
The Astra boasts eye-catching graphics, an enhanced sound system,and air ride suspension that can lower or raise the height of the vehicle. Although the main target audience for the car is young drivers and passengers, the car may also be used for general road safety activates.
KFRS were invited to the school for its Crime Prevention Week, enabling students to learn more about the dangers of crimes such as drug abuse and cyberbullying.
Community safety manager Alexa Kersting-Woods said: “Young people will be attracted to the car, giving us the opportunity to discuss and deliver potentially life saving messages. This ‘hot hatch’ will also appeal to car enthusiasts who might not otherwise be involved or engaged by our existing activities and events.”
The total cost of the second-hand vehicle was just under £16,400, with suppliers and installers of the modifications giving discounted rates. It was funded from the performance Reward Grant, awarded by central government as a result of the significant reduction in the number of people killed and seriously injured on Kent and Medway roads, achieved by multi-agency road safety intervention.
Head of community safety Stuart Skilton said: “Every single fatal road traffic collision in the UK costs the public purse around £1.8m. The cost of treating and caring for those suffering life changing injuries is immense. When you add to that the human tragedy and impact on the family and friends, the amount spent on this important educational tool seems wholly proportionate as it will enable us to reach target audiences and hopefully reduce the number of families who’ve been left devastated by a horrific accident.”
For more pictures and to find out what students thought of the day, see next week's Thanet Extra.
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