EMERGENCY services are planning to clampdown on dangerous youngsters on the roads.

Authorities have launched the Safe Drive Stay Alive campaign for the sixth year in a row in an attempt to reduce the number of serious injuries and deaths caused by crashes.

While the number of young people killed or seriously injured on the roads of Greater Manchester has gradually fallen since the project started, they are still over represented in the overall casualty figures. This is especially prevalent during the first year after passing their driving tests.

Over the past 12 months, there have been 657 casualty collisions involving young drivers in Greater Manchester alone, and over the past 10 years young driver collisions in GM have resulted in 133 deaths, with a further 1,384 people being seriously injured.

Speaking at the launch of the campaign, GMP Chief Inspector Matt Bailey-Smith from the Road Policing Unit explained that his officers are often among the first to witness the aftermath of horrific crashes.

“Road safety is at the forefront of our officer’s daily work and they are exposed to dangers on the road every day," he said.

"Police officers are often first on scene at road collisions and our officers see not only the devastating impact for those involved, but also for the family and friends of the casualties.

“We are proud to play a part in the Safe Drive Stay Alive initiative as we see first-hand the devastating and shocking impact of accidents on our roads."

The Oldham Times:

This year’s Safe Drive Stay Alive focuses on the consequences of road accidents and encourages young drivers to think about the life changing impact a split second behind the wheel can have. It aims to be a constant reminder that actions not only affect the driver, but also those around them too.

Police, ambulance, fire services provide first-hand accounts of their experiences of the loss and hurt in the loved ones of the casualties they treat. Family members and those personally affected also speak about the long-term immeasurable loss following road fatalities to highlight the wider impact long after accidents occur.

The emotionally engaging performances have been found to positively influence attitudes and behaviours of drivers and just as importantly, passengers too. It is an award-winning theatre based education initiative to help young drivers, passengers, parents, education establishments and driving schools. The November 2019 event will see around 9,500 individuals across Greater Manchester attend.

Area Manager Damian O’Rourke from the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Our firefighters are called to serious road traffic collisions on a daily basis, and all too often witness the death or life-changing injuries of young people. In many cases collisions could have been avoided had the driver or passengers behaved differently, and taken less risks on the roads.

“Collisions often occur a result of driving too fast, being distracted, drink or drug driving, or not wearing a seatbelt, and by taking more care on the roads can be avoided.

“Safe Drive Stay Alive is a fantastic way for our emergency services to engage with young people as they approach driving age, and demonstrating to them how important it is to keep themselves and their friends’ safe.”

Steven Blears, paramedic for North West Ambulance Service, added: “We’re extremely proud to be part of this powerful and moving initiative for the sixth year.

“Our ambulance staff has seen all too often how a split second lapse of judgement can destroy lives in an instant.

"By highlighting to young people the devastating effects of careless driving whilst they’re at an age where they’re just starting out on the road, we hope that they learn vital lessons that will stay with them throughout their lives.

“A little bit of extra care on the road really can be life-saving.”