Simulator shows impact of ‘fatal decision’

A new a ‘seatbelt simulator sled’ that allows people to “experience just a fraction of the impact of a traffic collision” is being used to help promote road safety.

Jul 12, 2017

A new a ‘seatbelt simulator sled’ that allows people to “experience just a fraction of the impact of a traffic collision” is being used to help promote road safety. It demonstrates the impact of a road traffic collision at just 4mph, allowing the user to fully appreciate the importance of wearing a seatbelt, even when travelling at low speed. The sled is a joint initiative between West Mercia Police and Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS). The equipment will be used during the series of annual Dying 2 Drive road safety events, which aim to reduce death and serious injury among young road users. Dying 2 Drive attracts secondary schools from across the two counties and is run by West Mercia Police, HWFRS, Herefordshire Council, Safer Roads Partnership, West Midlands Ambulance Service and St John Ambulance. The interactive sled will also be used at open days and other community safety-related events. West Mercia police and crime commissioner John Campion welcomed the joined-up approach between the police and the fire service to engage with the public on the shared objective of keeping roads safer, and said he “will continue to make best use of opportunities like this”. “As part of my plan for a safer West Mercia, I promised to improve road safety, through practical approaches to education. The funding of the sled is just one example of how I am delivering on this promise, ensuring the public understand the dangers and drive in a way to keep themselves and others safe,” he added. HWFRS Assistant Chief Fire Officer John Hodges said using a seatbelt “could mean the difference between life and death”. “The new seatbelt stimulator sled allows people to experience just a fraction of the impact of a road traffic collision, which will hopefully encourage them to always wear a seatbelt,” he said. Anna Higgins, communications manager at the Safer Roads Partnership, said: “Not wearing a seatbelt can be a fatal decision, even on short, familiar journeys and at low speed. While the majority of people habitually belt up every time they get into a car, there are still some who either choose not to or simply forget. “Nationally and locally, there are collisions occurring where people haven’t worn their seatbelt and the injuries sustained could have been avoided if seatbelts were used. We fully support the launch of the seatbelt simulator sled and believe it is an impactive and effective tool in raising awareness of the importance of seatbelt use.” She added: “Drivers and passengers who fail to wear seatbelts in the front and back of vehicles are breaking the law and face an on-the-spot fine of £100. If prosecuted, the maximum fine can be up to £500. It takes just a couple of seconds to put a seatbelt on, so there really isn’t any excuse not to use it and it could save your life if you’re involved in a collision.”

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