The devastating effects of distractions while driving were brought home to students at City of Wolverhampton College in a hard-hitting Valentine’s Day presentation.

Students donned virtual reality headsets to become ‘passengers’ in a speeding car involved in a collision with a tractor after the driver is distracted by the occupants scrolling through photographs on a mobile phone.

The film, produced by fire and rescue services, aims to highlight the importance of being a responsible driver, the consequences of road traffic accidents and the impact on emergency services involved in the aftermath.

Learner driver Natalie Spencer, aged 23, who is studying for a Level 3 diploma in early years, said: “I’m so glad that I saw the film. It made me realise how important it is to be aware of what everyone else in the car is doing and how, as the driver, your actions can impact on the lives of others. Is it really worth answering your phone when you see what can happen if you do?”

Pete Allington, from the road casualty reduction team at West Midlands Fire Service, said: “The film is about changing drivers’ behaviour and getting the message across that distractions behind the wheel can have devastating consequences.  If all the students we saw today take that on board, like Natalie has, it will make them safer and more responsible drivers.”

The event was also attended by staff from the road safety team at Wolverhampton City Council who handed out red roses, with tags attached giving the number of young people killed or seriously injured locally last year, to students.

Over 150 students attended the event at the college’s Wellington Road campus in Bilston.

About Association of Colleges West Midlands

AoC West Midlands promotes and supports the interests of 38 general further education, sixth form and specialist colleges throughout the West Midlands region. The West Midlands is a diverse region and our colleges reflect this diversity. From small specialist colleges in rural locations to large inner city establishments, colleges reflect the needs of their local environment. Working closely with employers, learners and the local community, our 38 member colleges offer a broad range of flexible learning opportunities for individuals at all levels. They aim to give local people the skills they need for success and prosperity, tackling barriers to learning and providing opportunities that meet the needs of individuals and employers
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