Cheshire Fire Service Cadets receive national road safety award for film project to help save young lives

15 January 2014

Brake, the road safety charity

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service Cadets have been presented with a national award recognising their contribution to tackling young driver crashes and saving young lives as part of road safety charity Brake's 2young2die campaign.

The cadets, from Congleton, Sandbach and Runcorn, received the 2young2die award at road safety charity Brake's annual reception at the Houses of Parliament last night, sponsored by Direct Line Group (photo attached).

The 2young2die competition encourages young people to get creative and promote life-saving road safety messages to peers and the wider community through powerful, original campaign films and adverts. The aim is to promote awareness about how young people and drivers of all ages can protect themselves, their friends and the wider community around them on the roads.

The winning 2013 entry, which was researched, scripted, produced and starred-in by the cadet team, is a series of three short films on the themes of speeding, drink driving and seatbelt use. The films were developed as part of the Fire Cadet Road Safety Video Project, set up after the tragic death of Congleton Fire Cadet, Hayley Bates in a road crash in September 2010. The project has been such a success it will now be run annually, with films produced by cadets used by fire crews in workshops with local schools and colleges throughout the year.

The cadets' films were shown at a special premiere at Cineworld in Runcorn in October 2013. At the event, young people had the opportunity to use a driving simulator and get road safety advice from fire officers. There was also a car on display in which a young driver lost his life, donated by his family and now known as the 'Think Car'.

One of the cadets' films, 'Had a Drink? Think Don't Drive', was shown as a trailer before all showings of films rated 15 or over on 9 October 2013 at Runcorn Cineworld.

Brake is inviting young people, educators and youth workers to register now for the 2014 competition, by visiting to get a free e-action pack.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, the road safety charity, said: "Young drivers are involved in one in four serious road crashes, and often young people themselves are the tragic victims. But young people can also have a big impact in helping to promote road safety and put a stop to needless casualties. The Cheshire Fire Service Cadets have shown great dedication to spreading vital road safety awareness and their powerful messages are reaching a large audience, so we are delighted to present them with this award. We are also urging more young people, colleges and schools to get involved in the 2young2die competition, to make a difference in your community and support Brake's work helping families devastated by crashes."

Laura Wheelton, fire cadet watch manager at Congleton, said: "Our friend and fellow cadet Hayley was killed in a terrible road crash involving speed, so it's something that has affected us personally and that's why our film focuses on the consequences of driving too fast. We wanted to pass on the message that speeding needs to stop. We're enthusiastic about making more films to help get through to people with important messages that could save someone's life. We were so pleased to find out we had won the 2young2die award. We're proud that we have been able to turn something that has affected us so deeply into something positive."

Paul Hancock, chief fire officer at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "I am thrilled that the Cadets have won this fantastic award for a project I know they are passionate about. It makes us even more determined to continue working alongside young people to raise awareness, promote responsible road use, and help stop the tragic loss of young lives we see on our roads."

Brake is an independent road safety charity. Brake exists to stop the five deaths and 63 serious injuries that happen on UK roads every day and to care for families bereaved and seriously injured in road crashes. Brake runs awareness-raising campaigns, community education programmes, events such as Road Safety Week (17-23 November 2014), and a Fleet Safety Forum, providing advice to companies. Brake's support division cares for road crash victims through a helpline and other services.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Direct Line Insurance Group plc
Direct Line Insurance Group plc (Direct Line Group) is headquartered in Bromley, Kent; it has operations in the UK, Germany and Italy.

Through its number of well known brands Direct Line Group offers a wide range of general insurance products to consumers. These brands include; Direct Line, Churchill and Privilege. It also offers insurance services for third party brands through its Partnerships division. In the commercial sector, its NIG and Direct Line for Business operations provide insurance products for businesses via brokers or direct respectively.

In addition to insurance services, Direct Line Group continues to provide support and reassurance to millions of UK motorists through its Green Flag breakdown recovery service and TRACKER stolen vehicle recovery and telematics business.

Tags: awards young drivers road deaths campaign 2young2die fire and rescue