Year 10s from Gad’s Hill School learned how to stay safe in a car, at Kent Fire and Rescue Service’s Road Safety Experience in Rochester.

The classmates spent a morning at the purpose-built centre, where they witnessed a mock, but shockingly realistic, car accident, acted as crash scene investigators, and tested their concentration skills in a series of interactive challenges.

On arrival, they were met by firefighter tour guides from Kent Fire and Rescue Service, who gave expert advice and information throughout the visit.

Once seated in the impressive auditorium, the Gad’s students watched a short film about a young driver who crashed his car.

There were gasps when the screen unveiled a real-life crashed car, complete with paramedics and fire crew cutting the car in an attempt to save the young driver.

After the demonstration, the cohort split into groups and were tasked with role-playing police officers attending a collision, before taking part in games designed to test their choices as passengers, and soon-to-be drivers, in specially-themed zones.

The 14 and 15-year-old pupils particularly enjoyed spinning the huge ‘consequences’ roulette wheel, where they answered on-line questions about wearing seat belts, being a passenger with somebody who has drunk alcohol and driving over the speed limit.

Gad’s student Jonathan Maplanka, 14, from Faversham said:  “The interactive challenges really brought the safety messages to life.”

Jonathan’s group was shown around by Road Safety Officer Jim Sanderson, who said:  “I was very impressed by the Gad’s students’ questions and comments and Jonathan showed rather nifty reactive skills during our stopping distance on-line task.”

Jonathan concluded:  “We talked about what we learned on the coach back to school and it has made me take notice when my mum is driving – I want to be a responsible passenger and one day, a responsible driver too.

“A lot of what we found out today was shocking and upsetting but Jim answered all our questions and gave us tips and techniques that will really help as we start to use the roads.”

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