Shock tactics for festive road-users

Fire crews carrying out a previous mock accident demonstration in Leigh
Fire crews carrying out a previous mock accident demonstration in Leigh

FIRE crews will be staging a fatal car crash to raise awareness of the dangers of drink driving over the Christmas period this weekend.

Greater Manchester Fire Service will simulate a head-on smash between two cars at the junction of Union Street and Bradshawgate in Leigh on Saturday afternoon at around 2pm.

Actors will play the roles of a fatality and seriously injured people, with paramedics from the voluntary services taking away one person in a body bag before fire crews use cutting equipment to remove the roof of the other vehicle and free the passengers.

The police will then breathalyse an actor playing the driver who caused the crash, who will then be arrested and led away in handcuffs.

Expert commentary will be provided throughout the real-time simulation, while Wigan Council’s Local Transport and Road Safety Team will offer advice and hand out leaflets.

Emergency services hope this dramatic mock-accident, which is expected to last around half an hour, will hammer home the anti drink-drive message this Christmas.

Community Fire Safety Officer for Wigan Steve Timmins said: “Hopefully it will show the affects of drink driving. It affects everyone around the families involved, and witnesses often need help to come to terms with what they have seen.

“Our message is simple; leave the keys at home. If you want to go out and have a few drinks, call a taxi at the end of the night. “Drink-driving costs lives, and the impact of this at Christmas is worse than at any other time of the year.

“Fortunately I think drink-driving is now becoming much more frowned upon. It’s all about education, and ensuring a safer Christmas for all.”

Mock accidents have been very popular in the past, with large crowds turning out to watch, and the emergency services hope this year’s will be equally well received.

Wigan Council cabinet environment champion Coun Kevin Anderson said: “We may call them ‘accidents’, but all too often car crashes are the result of people being intoxicated, using their phone when driving, or just not paying attention to the road.”