Swindon firefighters create stark warning about drink-driving

By Barrie Hudson - 7 December 2021

Community

Firefighters at Stratton Fire Station are again supporting the Christmas road safety campaign with a dramatic visual display.

This year’s road traffic collision reconstruction, at the fire station in Highworth Road, involves a car and a motorbike provided by Grist Environmental with a banner saying: “Don’t get smashed – don’t drink and drive”.

Watch Manager Mark Evans, from Green Watch Stratton, said that previous displays had always been well received. 

He added: “The fire station is right on the B4006, which is a busy thoroughfare with links to the A419, the M4 and bordering counties north of Wiltshire. As such, a lot of people go past every day, so we use the opportunity to raise awareness of the consequences of road traffic collisions during this festive season.

“December is a very busy month for many families, but we are asking drivers to take that valuable minute to reflect on whether they are safe to drive. Particular risk factors can be tiredness, still having alcohol in your system after drinking the night before, and your car not being winter-ready – for example, the tyres not being properly inflated, or windscreens and windows too dirty to see through clearly.”

While the main safety messages apply to everyone using the roads, the display focuses on motorcycles as riders make up more than a quarter of all British road deaths.

In addition, figures from the Motorcycle Industry Association show an increase of 148 percent in the number of powered two wheelers bought between May 2020 and May 2021, while electric two wheelers saw an increase in sales of 340 percent in the same period.

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service runs Biker Down Wiltshire, which is a free course available to motorcyclists and motorcycle clubs in Wiltshire and Swindon. A similar programme is available in the Dorset area, organised by the DocBike project.

Whether a person rides with a group of friends or on their own, there may be a time when they are the first to reach a fallen biker. Injured motorcyclists need to be dealt with in a specific manner as it can be easy to cause them further injury, particularly by removing a crash helmet unnecessarily, or in the wrong way.

Further information can be found at www.dwfire.org.uk/biker-down

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