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Dozens 'rescued' from Norfolk car crash

PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:37 02 July 2010

Young people get to experience being cut out of a crashed car at Wymondham fire station.

Young people get to experience being cut out of a crashed car at Wymondham fire station.

Adam Gretton

Firefighters used heavy cutting gear to release a dozens of young drivers and passengers from the mangled wreckage of a car crash in Wymondham - as part of an educational programme aimed at reducing antisocial and dangerous driving.

Firefighters used heavy cutting gear to release a dozens of young drivers and passengers from the mangled wreckage of a car crash in Wymondham.

But firefighters were for once happy to be called out to this car crash as part of an educational programme aimed at reducing antisocial and dangerous driving.

About 50 young people were subjected to a “virtual reality” vehicle smash at Wymondham fire station on Friday night as part of a project to improve safety on south Norfolk's roads.

Participants got behind the wheel of a crash simulator before being released by firefighters from a trapped car as part of the “Crashed but not Crushed” experience.

The initiative between South Norfolk Council, Norfolk Police and Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service comes as authorities attempt to deter boy and girl racers from speeding about the district over the Easter holidays. Officers also want to reduce the number of drivers and motorcyclists involved in mindless antisocial activity in car parks and on public roads.

Guy McCurley, of Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, who is also chairman of the Think! Norfolk casualty reduction partnership, said the message was getting out to young people.

“It is a unique way to see what it is like to be involved in a car crash, to meet the firefighters, and learn valuable safety messages.”

“It has been successful. We have managed to reduce the number of crashes involving the 17 to 24 years age group from 40pc to 34pc since 2006, but it is still a tragedy to see any young people killed or seriously injured,” he said.

As well as being freed from a mock-up crash, young drivers were also shown hard hitting films about the dangers and consequences of drink driving, speeding, not wearing a seat belt, and using a mobile phone at the wheel.

Charlotte Boak, 17, of Attleborough, said: “It definitely puts it into perspective about how serious a crash can be and how much effort goes into responding to a crash. Attitudes need to change in young drivers.”

Tom Seaman, 20, of Wymondham, whose friend Joe Rix, 22, died in a road traffic collision near the town in October, said the educational programme was helping young drivers.

“It makes you think that you do not want to be in the same situation and you take your foot off the pedal,” he said.

The initiative in Wymondham comes after the Safer Neighbourhood Team made tackling inconsiderate driving in the Browick Road and town centre area a top priority.

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