By Kevin Smith
A Hard-hitting and graphic session about staying safe on the roads left some Felpham students in tears.
Year 12 pupils at Felpham Community College attended the latest annual Safe Drive, Stay Alive event by Sussex Police.
The afternoon was aimed at young adults who are starting to learn to drive or being passengers in their friends’ cars.
It highlighted the dangers on the roads and what young adults should be aware of when they are travelling on them.
A short film was interspersed by the emergency services’ representatives speaking about their experiences and how they worked at accident scenes.
The speakers also included a mother who had lost her son in a road accident and a man who was injured in a car accident when he was a young adult.
Evan Copeland, one of the students who attended the event in Worthing, said: “I was emotionally drained after the workshop. It made me cry and I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
“It really brought the message home how dangerous the roads can be and I am 100 per cent sure that I am going to try and be as safe as possible when I start learning to drive or going out in a car with my friends.”
Mark Anstiss, the college’s head teacher, said: “We are grateful that we are given the opportunity for our Year 12 students to attend this workshop every year as we always receive positive feedback.
It is a challenging afternoon for the students but it gives them food for thought and will, hopefully, keep them safe. Some of the content is graphic, but it gets the right message across.”
Meanwhile, Year 11 students at the college attended a drama production which also highlighted road safety and the dangers of drink and drug-driving, both as a passenger and a driver.
The performance by the Box Clever production company linked stories together to show the students how decisions they make on the roads can have serious results.
It also demonstrated how those decisions can affect their lives and the lives of others by making the wrong choices.
Yesmin Tetra, the curriculum leader for citizenship at the college, said: “This workshop always gets the message home on how dangerous driving under the influence of drink or drugs can be and the terrible consequences it can have, not just as a driver but as a passenger.
“The production was done in a very real and entertaining way but students learnt a lot.”
Among those who watched the drama was Joe Crosby. The Year 11 student said: “It was really good. I am glad we got to take part in this.
“I know you should not drink and drive or take drugs but I hadn’t realised just how much it distorts your awareness and ability to concentrate by doing it, and how dangerous it can be for you and others.
“It has also made me think it is not just about the choices you make driving yourself but also being a passenger.”
This month’s road safety theme at the college has also included two cycle safety and bike check events run with West Sussex County Council and West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.