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Texting and driving – seize the phone!

21 November 2014

Some innovative ideas came out of Takeover Day presentations held at Barton Fire Station. Youngsters from North and North East Lincolnshire acted as Humberside Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) Community Safety Managers for the day as part of the Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover Day on Friday 21 November.

Texting and driving – seize the phone!

Chloe and Rosie from Brumby and South Axholme schools respectively ‘reported for duty’ at Scunthorpe Fire Station at 9.00am and were given a look around the building and were briefed by the CPU Manager. Their task was to identify the risks associated with using mobile phones whilst driving and coming up with innovative ways of cracking down on this potentially deadly activity.

They did their research on the internet before visiting a local supermarket to carry out some market research – the results were horrifying! Almost half of those interviewed admitted to checking emails, playing music, texting or Tweeting whilst on the move!

Pictured are all the youngsters warning of the serious consequences of texting whilst driving. Front row Chloe and Rosie surrounded by Grimsby Institute students.

Their presentation to members of Safer Roads Humber and HFRS Station Managers was hard hitting and came up with some novel ways of punishing offenders at the roadside. The girls felt that £100 fine and three points was not a big enough deterrent and that confiscating the phone for a period of time would have more effect. Most people can’t live without their phone for ten minutes, but two weeks or a month would be such an inconvenience, that drivers may finally begin to get the message!

Students from the Public Service course levels 1 and 2 at Grimsby Institute worked in a similar fashion at Peaks Lane Fire Station on the topic of accidental cooking fires, which make up around half all fires in the UK.

It was an enjoyable and worthwhile day for both young and old alike and some of the key findings have already made their way back to the Chief Fire Officer who is keen to look at some of the proposals in more detail.

Both groups then travelled to Barton Fire Station to deliver their presentations to Station Managers and the Road Safety Teams. All who attended were impressed by the fantastic ideas and the maturity of the presentations especially from Chloe and Rosie who were only 13 and 12. In fact the Station Managers were a little worried that these two might be after their jobs sooner than they think!