Hard-hitting stories to shock Havering kids into driving carefully

“I’m not here for your pity, I’m here to warn you about the dangers on the road.”

This was from car crash survivor Nick Bennett as he spoke to young people in Havering during the annual Safe Drive, Stay Alive event.

Nick, 28, was just 18 when he was in a collision as he drove to work one morning. While he was one of the lucky few to survive a serious car crash, it wasn’t without consequences.

The previously active sportsman, who once enjoyed snowboarding, has been in a wheelchair since the crash in 2002.

He told his young audience how the effects of the crash were still being felt even now, as he had recently also had to have one of his legs amputated due to his injuries.

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Nick was talking to teenagers about his experience at the Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch, during Safe Drive, Stay Alive week.

The annual event is run by Havering Council in partnership with the police, London Ambulance Service, fire brigade and local health trust, and aims to warn young people about the dangers on the road.

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It involves officers, as well as people personally affected by road crashes, telling their stories. Across the course of the week, which culminated on Friday 16 November, pupils in year 11 from every secondary school in the borough had attended.

Cllr Robert Benham, cabinet member for road safety, said: “Safe Drive, Stay Alive may not be easy to watch or listen to but it is absolutely vital that we do all we can to educate teenagers about the dangers of the road before they get behind the wheel.

“So many lives could be saved by taking simple steps like wearing a seatbelt and waiting until you reach your destination to make that phonecall. We also want young drivers to understand that driving dangerously does not only affect them; they are putting the lives of other road users, even their friends if they are passengers, in danger.”

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