PCSO delivers powerful road safety message in schools
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Almost 250 students in East Herts and Broxbourne have taken part in a thought-provoking road safety session hosted by Hertfordshire Constabulary.
The Collision and Loss (C.A.L) presentation was designed and delivered by PCSO Abbie Brackenbury from the Hertford Safer Neighbourhood Team.
It’s a topic very close to her heart, after her brother, Callum, tragically passed away following a road traffic collision on the A414 in January 2021, caused by another driver travelling at excess speed. Callum was just 20 and had an 18-month-old son.
Abbie said: “I put C.A.L together as a tribute to my younger brother. The aim is to deliver a strong message to those who are about to experience the world of driving by using a real-life story – Callum’s story. Far too many calls come through to police for road traffic collisions, many of which could have easily been avoided.
“C.A.L highlights the risk you take when you choose to ignore the rules of the road. It shows the impact on victims and their families, as well as the trauma experienced first-hand by emergency service workers. It also outlines the criminal consequences people can face when things go wrong - like seriously injuring someone or killing an innocent driver like Callum.”
On Thursday 14 September, the first talk was delivered to 16-and-17-year-olds at Simon Balle School in Hertford.
Sixth Form Manager Russell Ford said: “This informative and engaging discussion perfectly highlighted the responsibility required to become a safe driver. Through a range of thought-provoking stimuli and direct questioning our students began to consider the hazards all drivers face and the consequences of life-defining decisions.
“Students left the session with knowledge of the practical steps required to begin their own journey from learner to safe driver.”
Abbie then delivered the talk to students at Callum’s former school, The Broxbourne School, on Wednesday (20 September), alongside PC Elen Thomas.
Lou Reynard, Director of Sixth From at the school, said: “We were incredibly lucky to have PCSO Brackenbury and team come to The Broxbourne School this week to deliver a new programme, C.A.L, with the purpose of informing and educating Year 13 about safe driving, the law, and the dangers. The delivery was excellent, the presentation was really informative and the personal nature of the story really impacted our students and staff. I'd recommend this for all new drivers in schools.”
It is hoped that the talk can be delivered at other schools soon.
Abbie said: “It’s not always young drivers who are involved in serious or fatal collisions on the road, as proven by Callum’s story. But delivering C.A.L into schools provides early intervention, so these young people really know the importance of staying safe on the roads when they go on to pass their tests.
“The talks were really well received, and I’d like to thank both schools for letting us come in and deliver the presentation and the students for engaging with us.”