Cumbria YFC Road Safety

Nov 16, 2022  •  General

On a dark and wet Tuesday evening, young farmers aged 16+ from Caldbeck, Eden Valley, Pennine, Penrith and Skelton young farmer clubs met at Penrith Fire Station

They all took part in their first Road Safety Awareness Session devised and delivered by Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service and Cumbria Constabulary. 

The evening began with the young farmers being shown a severely damaged car which had been involved in a collision. The Officer leading on this part of the session PC Norman Black (Collision Reduction Officer) explained that the collision had occurred due to the driver’s inexperience and the illegal modification of their car leading to a fatal outcome. 

Next, came a car cut demonstration involving a young farmer volunteer being cut and safely removed from a damaged car. The entire operation was very complex, involving 6 Firefighters using some heavy-duty cutting equipment and took 45 minutes to complete. Watch Manager Adrian Dargue explained the process and went into great detail about what risks needed to be considered and the safety measures put in place to ensure that the person could be removed as safely and quickly as possible. 

After a visual tour of a fire engine and explanation of all the equipment that the vehicles carry from Firefighter Luiza Oliver, the young farmers moved inside for a presentation and videos on road safety. Adrian talked to those gathered about his own experiences attending collisions and the impact that fatalities have on families, friends, the emergency services, and the wider community. 

Cumbria YFC County Chair Charlotte Wilson who attended the evening and gave the vote of thanks commented that it was “A very informative night which allowed many members from a variety of clubs to understand the full impact of what dangerous driving can cause. Every member of staff we met were a credit to the profession and did an excellent job of demonstrating and explaining the ways in which we can prevent accidents as well as what happens when one does occur”. 

Watch Manager Adrian Dargue who led on the evening explained: 

“At this time of year, drivers can be confronted with additional risks on the road, roads can be slippery with fallen leaves and dirt from verges that can lead to loss of traction increasing the likelihood of a skid, unexpected icy conditions also contribute to accidents on untreated roads.

“Alongside our partners, within the Police we advise all drivers to check their tyres are in good condition and inflated to the correct pressure.

“Statistics state you are twice as likely to die in an accident if you are not wearing a seatbelt, drivers aged 17-34 have the lowest seatbelt wearing rates combined with the highest accident rates.

“As the festive season approaches, many young drivers and their friends will head off to social gatherings and parties, the pressures from friends to offer lifts home after drinking can be difficult to refuse, young drivers often feel pressured to drive faster and show off with their friends onboard, this is a lethal combination of driving beyond your ability and speed. Cars handle differently with 4 or 5 people in than they do with a single driver, this can increase vehicle roll when cornering and increase braking distances especially in smaller vehicles.

“It has been a pleasure hosting the Cumbria YFC evening and we have had some very positive engagement with the group which will undoubtedly lead to safer driving.”

Cumbria YFC would like to thank all those involved in the evening including PCSOs Sally Ballantyne and Erica Norman for their working in facilitating the event.  It is hoped that the Road Safety Awareness Session can be rolled out to other clubs the length and breadth of Cumbria in the near future.

Cumbria YFC Road Safety