Young drivers get virtual reality check!

By February 27, 2017News, News FrontPage 2

Young drivers are to get a hard-hitting virtual reality check when it comes to road safety.

Today (27 February), our Road Casualty Reduction Team launched a pioneering road safety education package, built around a specially-commissioned 360° virtual reality video.

Young car seat passenger texting and chatting‘Every Choice Counts’ is the first of its kind in the UK, featuring ‘branching’ technology which allows participants to make decisions with varying consequences at various points in a car journey with friends.

Speaking at today’s launch at our headquarters in Birmingham, Assistant Chief Fire Officer Gary Taylor said the ‘Every Choice Counts’ package combines behavioural change techniques with experiential learning.

He said: “Our most vulnerable road users are young drivers aged 16 to 24 and the biggest killers on our roads are ‘The Fatal Four’ of speeding, distractions like texting, drink and drug-driving and not wearing a seatbelt.

“The video will be used in colleges and sixth forms, and is complemented by a comprehensive lesson plan to encourage peer-to-peer learning.

Guests at the video launch watch it on virtual reality headsets“We hope that everyone who sees it will also benefit from the learning coping strategies to help them deal with pressure from friends, and get a much clearer understanding and appreciation of safer driving choices.”

The video, filmed in the West Midlands, was produced with First Car publishing. The main characters were played by performing arts students from Birmingham School of Acting and Walsall College.

An on-screen questions asks viewers of the video if they're happy to let a friend ride without a seatbelt

Watch Commander Andy Gillespie, of our Road Casualty Reduction Team, said: “The students gave fantastic performances and were true professionals throughout. They were very believable, even though they had to film some difficult scenes.

“We hope that many other students and young people will be able to relate to the film, and become a safer generation of drivers.”

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