POLICE North Ayrshire ‘connected’ with S5 pupils at St Matthews Academy in North Ayrshire last week to pilot a new road safety roadshow event – ‘Connected Ayrshire Road Safety’.

The interactive road show, on Friday, March 1, saw a range of partners come together to highlight the positives of getting behind the wheel and to also highlight some of the risks involved.

Pupils at the school heard from North Ayrshire Council Road Safety Team, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Police Scotland Roads Policing Unit with a presentation taking the students on a journey from applying for their licence to highlighting the responsibilities of driving safely.

Scottish Fire and Rescue attended with a fire appliance, demonstrated their cutting equipment and taught the pupils the basics of CPR. British Transport Police attended with the Level-Crossing Safety Camera Van and emphasised the dangers of ignoring barriers and lights at level crossings.

The pupils were also immersed in a new virtual reality experience, provided by Road Safety Scotland, which demonstrated the consequences of distracted driving, a crash and the emergency response phase of a collision.

PC Colin Johnson, Preventions and Interventions Officer for North Ayrshire, said: “Sadly across Scotland, young and inexperienced road users make up the majority of casualties as a result of road traffic collisions.

“This event was designed to emphasise important road safety messages in an interactive, informative and interesting way, to students who may soon embark on their journey as new drivers.

“The students will be more aware of the hazards they are likely to come across on our roads, whilst having a better understanding of the role of the emergency services and having learned some valuable life skills that could be useful in all walks of life. We would like to thank everyone who participated today.”