West Sussex - Crash course in seat-belting

27th November 2009 at 00:00

Road safety experts in West Sussex have been educating youngsters about the need to wear a seat-belt before they get behind the wheel.

Gill Starkie and Martin Cooke, council road safety officers, took their "seat-belt sled" to Collyer's sixth form college in Horsham.

The sled is a seat set in a long frame that moves forward to recreate the effect of being in a car crash.

More than 90 students sat on the car seat, put on the seat-belt and were released from the starting position at approximately 4mph.

Ms Starkie said: "It was interesting to see their reaction - mostly shocked by the impact when they hit the bottom. One boy said, 'It's bad enough at 4mph; imagine the impact at 30mph, or 70mph.'"

Every year in the UK, more than 1,000 17- to 25-year-olds are killed on the roads, and more than three times as many are seriously injured as a result of a road traffic collision.

The event was set up with the aim of dispelling the feeling among teenagers that careful driving was "uncool" by pointing out that anyone can drive fast, but not everyone can drive with skill. HW.

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