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Road Safety Comes to the Playground in Birmingham

29 Nov 2010 09:29

Over 500 children in Birmingham gained valuable experience in road safety this week when Aston-based tyre specialist ATS Euromaster organised a series of practical demonstrations at Anderton Park School in Balsall Heath (24 November) and Coleshill Heath Junior & Infants School in Chelmsley Wood (25 November).

The special lessons were arranged to support National Road Safety Week (22-28 November) and saw a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) squeeze into the playgrounds at both schools to help highlight a series of key safety messages involving stopping distances, driver reaction times and vehicle blind spots.

ATS Euromaster teamed up with one of its largest customers, Dairy Crest, to deliver the training to 300 children at Anderton Park and over 200 from Coleshill Heath – all aged between seven and 11.  Staff from ATS Euromaster also arranged a special surprise with an opportunity for pupils to meet the famous Michelin Man.

Paul Griffin, National Fleet Safety Advisor at ATS Euromaster, explains: “We focused on highlighting the risks children face when walking, cycling or playing in an environment near vehicles.  We invited children up into the cab of the Dairy Crest truck, allowing them to experience what a driver sees through the mirrors and the associated dangers encountered with longer vehicles.

“By positioning teachers and fellow pupils in key positions close to the vehicle, children took it in turns to see the blind spots at first-hand.  It proved a very powerful way of highlighting the importance of giving commercial vehicles respect and plenty of space on our roads.”

The staff from ATS Euromaster and Dairy Crest also used simple exercises to demonstrate how vehicles take time to brake, even in an emergency.  By getting groups of children to run a short distance before being told to stop, they could measure reaction times and explain the principals of stopping distances.

Griffin explains: “The test showed how any large object travelling with enough momentum takes time to reach a standstill, no matter how hard you apply the brakes.  It helped to reinforce why it’s so important to take care when crossing a road; if you step out in front of a moving vehicle it might not be able to stop in time.”

The event also saw tyre technicians from ATS Euromaster deliver key safety advice to staff and parents.  All vehicles in the school car parks received free tyre safety inspections, plus parents dropping off or collecting their children were offered a free tyre safety check.  Across the two days ATS Euromaster technicians inspected more than 150 tyres and were able to warn of any tyre repairs or replacements which were required.

For more information about Road Safety Week please visit: www.roadsafetyweek.org

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